Jammu, Oct 22 (PTI) Calling the Taj Mahal India’s pride, opposition National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir said today that controversial statements by some BJP leaders against the historical monument were aimed at “testing the waters” ahead of polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

“Those generating passions (by commenting) on historical monuments, including the Taj Mahal, are anti-national,” NC provincial president Devender Singh Rana said.

Addressing public meetings in the Nagrota assembly constituency here, Rana called the Taj Mahal India’s pride.

BJP legislator from Uttar Pradesh, Sangeet Som, had questioned the Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage and said history would be rewritten to erase Mughal emperors from it.

Vinay Katiyar, another leader from the party, a few days later claimed the Taj was Lord Shiva’s temple called ‘Tejo Mahal’, which was converted into a mausoleum by Shahjahan.

Rana said the BJP’s attack on the 17th-century marvel was meant for “testing the waters” to make such monuments a plank in the state polls in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka and “one of the core issues in the 2019 general elections.” He said the Taj Mahal was not only one of the seven wonders of the world, but also a symbol of national diversity.

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.

Rana, however, said he was assured about the political sagacity of people who have not allowed passions drive them.

The BJP governs Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), after it threw the NC into opposition following the state elections in 2015.

Rana said it was only a matter of time when the people of the state will show them 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.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.