Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday removed Ompal Nehra, a senior official who enjoyed the status of a minister, for saying that Muslims should help in building a Ram temple at the site of the razed Babri mosque in Ayodhya.
Nehra, advisor to the entertainment tax department, said in Bijnore on Thursday that he felt that Muslims should facilitate the construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya and a Krishna temple in Mathura.
The chief minister has taken a dim view of Nehra's comments, official sources told IANS.
Despite his sacking, Nehra maintained on Friday that what he said was in national interest and that the move would have brought together Hindus and Muslims like never before.
Said to be close to Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nehra also said he did not regret losing his ministerial status.
Nehra's comments have come at a time of renewed tensions over the Ram temple.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has been gathering stones for constructing the temple at the spot where the 16th century Babri Masjid stood until it was razed in December 1992.