Days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that Taj Mahal important tourist draw and it doesn’t matter who built it, BJP Member of Parliament (MP) from Kanpur, Vinay Katiyar, has claimed that the mausoleum was built on the site where once a Hindu temple stood.

According to media reports, Katiyar said Taj Mahal was called ‘Tejo Mahal’, Lord Shiva’s temple, where Shahjahan buried his wife and turned it into a mausoleum and added that it was constructed by Hindu kings, the rooms and carvings there prove that it was a Hindu monument.

He said the location once housed a Shivling and was a Hindu temple.

Katyar also said that all Hindu worshipping grounds and temples were destroyed by the Mughals.

He also claimed that there are enough examples of Taj Mahal being a Hindu temple and said there used to be a Shivaling there which had water dripping on it from up top. That ling was removed and a mausoleum built there.

Katyar said there is no need to demolish the Taj Mahal but it should be renamed to Tejo Majal, according media reports.

The Taj Mahal in Agra, counted as one of the world’s wonders and a tourist favourite, was dragged into a political row after it was recently left out of a new tourism brochure released by the six-month-old BJP government in UP.

Earlier, Uttar Pradesh BJP legislator Sangeet Som, one of the politician accused of inciting riots in 2013 in Muzaffarnagar, had also said that Mughal history should be erased from the country’s history.

Adityanath is also scheduled to visit the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and other important monuments in Agra on October 26, an official said.

Earlier last month, the state government has omitted reference to the Taj Mahal in a booklet published on completion of six months of the Yogi Adityanath government. The move had drawn sharp criticism, prompting Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi to remark that Taj Mahal was of great importance to the state government and to the nation.

(With agency inputs)