For the visiting delegates of American companies looking to invest in Uttar Pradesh, the state government had a word of advice on Monday — “do not fall for the controversy surrounding Taj Mahal… it is our pride and an important landmark”. Addressing a delegation of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), Cabinet Minister Sidhartha Nath Singh said: “Don’t fall for controversy created by certain media houses… Taj is our pride and remains our pride… it is an important landmark for us.” He explained how a booklet issued by the state government, which was meant to highlight new tourist destinations, was “used to create confusion”.
He maintained that since Taj Mahal is already a well-established tourist destination, it was not highlighted in the booklet. He said so while informing the delegation about the initiatives undertaken by the government in the last six months to encourage investment.
Singh told the gathering that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was recently in Ayodhya, will visit the Taj soon. “It might be a place of religion for some and a place of tourism for others, just like Vatican in Italy,” he said, adding that “his government’s approach was flexible”.“My own CM is going to be there. He was there in Ayodhya. It is a part of the tourism circuit. People can look at it from a religious angle… fair enough, it is a matter of faith,” said Singh. The delegation representing 26 major US firms had an interaction with Singh to explore investment opportunities in UP.