Tableaux from Bengal, Maharashtra and Kerala dropped from Republic Day parade

New Delhi: Tableaux from three opposition-ruled states – Bengal, Maharashtra and Kerala – were dropped from this year’s Republic Day parade on Delhi’s Rajpath, one of the most prestigious and colourful national events attended by foreign dignitaries.
The government, while making the announcement on New Year, said only 16 of the 32 states have been included in this year’s list due to “time constraints”. The livid ruling parties of the states have accused the Narendra Modi government of discrimination. All states have the right to represent themselves at a national event, they said.
This is the second consecutive year that Kerala’s proposed tableau for Republic Day was rejected, officials from the state said. It was dropped after the third phase of evaluation. Kerala’s theme was woven around traditional art forms with a strong focus on art and architecture, sources said.
Kerala Law Minister AK Balan hit out at the Centre. “The Centre becomes berserk whenever they hear the word Kerala or Malayali,” he said, alleging that rejection after the third phase cannot happen “without political interference”.
On New Year’s Day, the centre had announced the list of states and government departments that would take part in the parade. In the statement, the government had specifically mentioned the case of Bengal, saying it was shortlisted for the 2019 Republic Day parade through a similar process.
“The rejection of the West Bengal tableau for the Republic Day parade 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 Saugata Roy told NDTV.
In Maharashtra, both Shiv Sena and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party have accused the BJP-led Centre of being prejudiced and demanded an explanation.
In a series of tweets in Marathi, Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar’s daughter and a leader of his party, said the Republic Day is a “festival of the country” and the centre is expected to give “representation to all the states”.
The governments of Kerala and Bengal have been at loggerheads with the Centre over the new Citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens. Chief Ministers from both states, Pinarayi Vijayan and Mamata Banerjee, have been adamant, declaring that they would not implement the law.