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Political row as Bengal, Maharashtra tableaux rejected | India News

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NEW DELHI: A day after the defence ministry had rejected Bengal’s tableau proposal for the Republic Day parade, it further fuelled a political row by turning down Maharashtra’s presentations on Thursday.
Three opposition parties — NCP, Shiv Sena and Trinamool — have accused the Centre of prejudice even as the defence ministry said in a statement that “only a limited number of tableaux can be shortlisted” for the parade keeping in mind the overall duration of the function.
The proposals of six states have been rejected for this year’s parade. While four of them – Maharashtra, Bengal, Kerala and Delhi – are ruled by opposition parties, BJP and its allies are at the helm of affairs in Bihar and Haryana. Delhi government’s proposal showcasing “city’s secular heritage”, which was submitted by the Sahitya Kala Parishad, was among the tableau presentations which did not qualify for the parade.
Five rounds of meetings take place before the final list is made by the defence ministry. Delhi government sources said its proposal was eliminated in the last round.
Terming the rejection of proposals as a “conspiracy”, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said: “Maharashtra has got awards for its tableau most of the times. What has happened this time that Maharashtra and West Bengal were not included? Both states don’t have BJP governments. Is this the reason?”
NCP MP Supriya Sule said it was expected that the Centre would give representation to all states in the Republic Day parade as it is a “national festival”. “The Centre is behaving in a prejudiced manner and is giving the states ruled by the opposition a step-motherly treatment,” she said.
Bengal minister Tapas Roy said the proposal, focussing on the state government’s Kanyashree project for girl students, was rejected because Trinamool has opposed “anti-people laws” such as Citizenship (Amendment) Act. “BJP has insulted the people of Bengal and they would get a befitting reply for it in future,” he said.
Col Diptangshu Choudhury (retd), advisor to Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, said: “How can they reject the Kanyashree project, which had been awarded by the UN?” Former Bengal minister Madan Mitra said: “I think they are suffering from fear psychosis. They can cancel the tableau of Bengal in Delhi, but Bengal will cancel both CAA and NRC.”
Incidentally, for the first time, J&K would be represented in the parade as a Union territory. The theme of the tableau, “Back to Village”, depicts the arts of the region like shawl weaving and Basohli paintings with pictures of Krishna and Radha.
Maharashtra had sent four proposals — on the 175-year-old journey of theatre in the state; 350th anniversary of the naval fleet set up by Maratha ruler Kanhoji Angre; the story of Maharashtra’s traditional wear and the centenary year of Geet Ramayana.
Sources from the culture department, which sends the proposals, said this is not the first time that their idea has been rejected. “There have been at least 10 times when the ideas were rejected, the first one in 1972,” said an officer, adding that the last time a proposal was turned down was in 2016.
The defence ministry said in a statement that out of total 56 proposals (of which 32 were from states and Union territories), only 22 were selected for this year’s parade after a series of five meetings. Of these, 16 are from states and UTs. The ministry said Bengal’s proposal was not taken forward for further consideration after the second meeting. “It is pertinent to mention here that the tableau of Bengal government was shortlisted for participation in Republic Day Parade in 2019 as an outcome of the same process,” the ministry added.
The proposal of Bihar, where NDA parties are in power, too was rejected by the state government. Bihar’s proposal focussed on the Jal-Jivan-Hariyali Mission. “The defence ministry said that as per the set criteria for Republic Day parade, state governments cannot make their tableaux on such a theme,” a senior official at the Bihar Information Centre said.





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