Sunday September 22, 2019

Yogi Adityanath: ‘Taj Mahal is Part of Indian Heritage’

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BJP, Yogi Adityanath
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath. Twitter

Lucknow, October 17: In a damage control exercise after a BJP MLA’s comments on the Taj Mahal sparked outrage, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said the famed monument in Agra was a part of Indian heritage.

Adityanath also told the media that the 17th-century marble monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, was constructed “by the blood and sweat of Indian laborers”. An official said the Chief Minister will also visit the Taj Mahal.

“It does not matter who built it and for what reason. It was built by the blood and sweat of Indian laborers,” Adityanath said of the Taj, India’s biggest tourist draw.

“Taj Mahal is a part of India’s heritage,” he went on. “Taj Mahal, Red Fort are all part of India’s heritage.”

The statement came after Uttar Pradesh BJP legislator Sangeet Som called the Taj Mahal a blot on Indian culture and said it was built by an emperor who wanted to finish off Hindus.

“We should not focus on Som’s statement,” the Chief Minister said, in the clearest sign that his Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh was distancing itself from the MLA’s controversial remarks.

Adityanath said the Taj was important for the Uttar Pradesh government, specially “from the tourism perspective” and “it is our priority to provide facilities and safety to tourists there”.

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

Considered one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj attracts millions of Indian and foreign tourists every year.

Last month, the Uttar Pradesh government had omitted references to the Taj in a booklet published to mark six months of the Adityanath government.

This drew sharp criticism, prompting Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi to say that that Taj Mahal was of great importance to the state government and to the nation.(IANS)

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Yogi Adityanath Government in Uttar Pradesh Offering Cows for Adoption

The state government will pay a sum of Rs 30 per day to the person who adopts a cow for maintenance

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Yogi Adityanath, Government, Uttar Pradesh
This is being done to check the growing problem of stray cows. Pixabay

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is now offering cows for adoption. This is being done to check the growing problem of stray cows.

The state government will pay a sum of Rs 30 per day to the person who adopts a cow for maintenance. People living in semi-urban and rural areas can adopt up to four stray cows, bulls and calves.

The scheme called the ‘Nirashrit/Besahara Govansh Sahbhagita Yojana’ was introduced on August 8 for management of stray cattle, but the execution order was issued on September 9.

The response has been overwhelming with the Lucknow administration having received 1,500 applications by Wednesday evening.

Yogi Adityanath, Government, Uttar Pradesh
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is now offering cows for adoption. Pixabay

Chief veterinary officer Tej Singh Yadav said, “We have received 1,500 adoption applications, mostly from farmers and landless daily wage earners. The scheme will add to their income and will help control stray cattle, responsible for damaging crops in villages and causing accidents in city.”

Of the 24,940 animals caught so far in Lucknow district, 9,079 have been ear-tagged and are available for adoption.

Over 4,400 are available with Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC), followed by 895 in Mohanlalganj, 833 in Maal and 789 in Malihabad blocks in the state.

According to LMC director (animal welfare) Arvind Rao, “The process of verification is underway and we will hand over the animals to deserving applicants in 15 days.”

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The state veterinary department will also conduct regular inspection of foster homes. “If an animal is sick, the owner will have to inform the department, which will arrange for free treatment. However, in case of death, a postmortem will be done to ascertain the cause and action will be taken if there is a foul play,” he explained.

Officials denied that Rs 30 per day was insufficient to feed a cow and said that non-crop fields on the outskirts of the city would allow foster homes to easily feed the adopted animal. The money can be saved. It will be an additional source of income for the poor families, they said.

The animals are being ear-tagged for easy identification if abandoned after adoption. “(IANS)