Jammu and Kashmir’s main opposition party the National Conference has said that the Taj Mahal is India's pride and the controversial statements made by some BJP leaders against the historical monument were aimed at "testing the waters" ahead of elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, and "one of the core issues in the 2019 general elections."
National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana said the Taj Mahal was not only one of the seven wonders of the world but also a symbol of national diversity.
"Those generating passions (by commenting) on historical monuments, including the Taj Mahal, are anti-national," Rana said while addressing public meetings in the Nagrota assembly constituency in Jammu.
Sangeet Som, BJP legislator from Uttar Pradesh had questioned the Taj Mahal's place in India's heritage and said history would be rewritten to erase Mughal period.
Another BJP leader Vinay Katiyar had claimed Taj Mahal was Lord Shiva's temple which was forcefully converted into a tomb by Mughal emperor Shahjahan.
Without naming Som, Rana said his comments cannot be ignored as they appear to be a "well-planned strategy" by the BJP to "divide" the Indian society on communal lines.
He, however, said he was assured about the political sagacity of people who have not allowed passions drive them.
Rana further added that it was only a matter of time when the people of the state will show the PDP-BJP coalition government the door. "The BJP is undergoing the descending phase across the country and the day is not far when Jammu and Kashmir will prove to be its Waterloo."