There is no evidence to prove that the Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple, the Modi government clarified in the Lok Sabha on Monday, months after a plea was filed in an Agra court to declare the monument a Shiva temple.
A question on the suit to declare the Taj Mahal a Hindu temple was put forth in the Lok Sabha by AIADMK memebr B Senguttuvan, and Culture minister Mahesh Sharma replied that the government had found no such evidence.
The question also sought to know if the controversy around the monument had affected tourism. Sharma said that the government had not noted any affect on tourism to the Taj Mahal.
In March this year, a petition was admitted in a district court in Agra to declare the Taj Mahal a Shiva temple and to allow Hindus to perform prayers there.
The UNESCO heritage monument, which is deemed among the 'Wonders of the World', has been at the centre of political controversies during Parliament sessions even last year.
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi had raised a question in Parliament last December -- "Who does the Taj Mahal belong to?"
The question had come after a BJP leader had raked up a controversy by claiming that Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had, in fact, 'bought' part of the monument, which he claimed was earlier called the "Tejo Mahalaya" temple.