Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today wrote to West Bengal and Tamil Nadu chief ministers, explaining the exclusion of the said states’ tableaux that had been planned for the Republic Day parade. In the letter, the defence minister wrote, Tamil Nadu’s tableaux could not make it into the final list of 12 tableaux selected for participation in the Republic Day parade.
“This is also to bring to your kind information that during the last few years, tableaux from the state government of Tamil Nadu had been selected for participation in Republic Day during 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021,” the defence minister wrote.
As many as 56 proposals had come from states and union ministries. Out of these, 21 were shortlisted and a similar process of selection is adopted every year, the sources said and added that the tableaux from these states had been approved multiple times in the past under the Narendra Modi government.
Soon after the announcement, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Tamil Nadu Chief counterpart MK Stalin sought Prime Minister Modi’s intervention in the matter.
The West Bengal tableau was set to highlight the contributions of legendary freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose while Tamil Nadu had depicted freedom fighters VO Chindambaranar, Subramania Bharathi, Rani Velu Nachiyar and Marudhupandiyar brothers in the state’s tableau.
The defence minister dismissed the charge that exclusion of tableaux of a few states had to do with the Modi government’s political bias and deplored the efforts by some chief ministers to link the decision taken by a committee of ‘apolitical experts’ to regional pride.