Lucknow, October 18: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Vinay Katiyar on Wednesday presented an alternate history when he claimed Taj Mahal to be a Hindu temple. The MP, who is also the founder-president of the Bajrang Dal alleged that the Mughals replaced a Shivling inside the monument with a Mazaar. These comments comes days after another BJP leader Somnath Som  sparked a row after calling the Taj Mahal at Agra a ‘blot’ in the history of India.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Katiyar said the Taj Mahal is full of symbols of Hindu gods and goddesses. He further said that inside the Taj, used to be a Shiv Ling (a phallic statue which symbolises Hindu god Shiva), on which water used to drip from the roof, but this was later replaced by the Mughals with a Mazaar.

“Mughlon ne hamare dev sthano ko todne ka kaam kiya. TajMahal Hindu mandir hai, wahan devi-devtaon ke saare chinh hain.” [The Mughals destroyed our holy places. Taj Mahal is a Hindu Temple. It has all the symbols of (Hindu)gods and goddesses.] Katiyar told ANI.

He also proposed that Taj Mahal should be called Tejo Mahal, as it was the original name, he claimed.

Sangeet Som on the other hand, on Sunday called the Taj Mahal a blot on Indian culture and said if required, the history of the Mughals will be erased in India. He was justifying the recent drop of the monument from a list of tourist attractions in UP.

To this, AIMIM chief Osaduddin Owaisi asked if tourist will be now restricted from visiting the monument, since Som claimed it was constructed by ‘traitors’. SP leader Azam Khan also responded to this remark and said if Taj Mahal symbolises a blot in history, even Rashtrapati Bhawan can be considered a symbol for slavery.

Katiyar is known for his controversial remarks and earlier this year he made a sexist comment on Congress’s Priyanka Gandhi.