- Yogi Adityanath said Taj Mahal has no connection with India's culture
- He commended PM's practice of gifting Ramayana to foreign dignitaries
- Agra's Taj Mahal has been named a 'World Heritage Site' by UNESCO
Is the Taj Mahal, accepted as one of the seven wonders of the world, a symbol of India? Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appears to have reservations of it. In Bihar's Darbhanga for a function to mark three years of the Narendra Modi government, the Chief Minister commended the Prime Minister's practice of gifting Bhagwad Gita and the Indian epic Ramayan to foreign dignitaries.
In this context, he said earlier, Presidents and Prime Ministers of India would gift souvenirs.
"The gifts given to them were Agra's Taj Mahal or some minar that has no connection with India's culture or heritage," said the 45-year-old saffron-robed Chief Minister.
"This is the first time this has happened that when India's Prime minister Narendra Modi goes abroad, or any foreign president visits India, he is gifted the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita or Ramayan," he said.
"Whenever Ramayan is gifted to any foreign president, that exhibits the history of Bihar," he added.
In his speech -- touched upon emotive issues like triple talaq, Ayodhya temple and illegal slaughter houses -- Yogi Adityanath also hit out at detractors and political opponents.
It is among the 10 iconic spots of Indian heritage and Indian culture, to be cleaned up under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India mission. Every year, the government spends crores on its upkeep.
Last month, the Chief Minister had visited the Yamuna between the two heritage sites - Taj and the Agra fort - and pulled up officials for dumping untreated sewage in the river.