In what could spark fresh tensions between the West Bengal Chief Minister,Ms. Mamata Banerjee, and the Centre, the Union Ministry of Defence on Wednesday rejected her state's tableau proposal for the Republic Day parade on January 26.
'The tableau proposal of West Bengal government was examined by the expert committee in two rounds of meetings. The proposal was not taken forward for further consideration by the committee after deliberations in the second meeting,' the ministry said..
Twenty two proposals comprising 16 states and union territories and six ministries and departments have been shortlisted for the parade. The shortlist was compiled from as many as 56 tableau proposals - 32 from states and union territories and 24 from various ministries and departments - received by the Centre.
'The expert committee examines the proposals on the basis of theme, concept, design and visual impact before making its recommendations. Due to time constraints arising out of the overall duration of the parade, only a limited number of tableaux can be shortlisted for participation in the parade,' the statement read. West Bengal was shortlisted for the 2019 Republic Day parade through a similar process.
'The rejection is discriminatory. It has been done because West Bengal has been opposing the Centre's CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and the NRC (National Register of Citizens) plans,' Trinamool Congress MP, Mr. Saugata Roy, said.
'West Bengal is known to be living state as far as culture, including arts, music and other things are concerned. So obviously, this is a discriminatory step taken by the Central Government against West Bengal,' Mr Roy added.