Bihar had put forward its tableau based on the theme of 'Jal-Jivan-Haryali Abhiyan' launched by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in October 2019. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
In what can spark a fresh controversy, the Narendra Modi government rejected the tableau proposal by Bihar. The development comes after the Centre turned down West Bengal and Maharashtra’s plans for the Republic Day celebrations. According to sources in the government, Bihar’s bid did not find favour on the ground that it did not fulfil the necessary criteria laid down for choosing tableaux from the states for the occasion. Bihar had put forward its tableau based on the theme of 'Jal-Jivan-Haryali Abhiyan' launched by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in October 2019 to boost green cover and the ground water table in the state.
RJD has slammed the Modi government’s decision. "They (NDA government at the Centre) earlier shot down Bihar's demand for special status and has now rejected a proposal to showcase its scheme through a tableau on the Republic Day.... This is the truth of the 'double-engine' government trumpeted by the BJP," RJD spokesman Mritunjan Tiwari was quoted as saying.
On Thursday, the Centre reportedly rejected the Maharashtra’s tableau proposal for the Republic Day parade. The development came hours after the Trinamool Congress on Thursday hit out at the BJP-led government at the Centre over the rejection of West Bengal's tableau proposal for Republic Day parade, saying it insulted the people of the state for protesting the amended Citizenship Act.
Twenty-two proposals from 16 states and union territories and six from central ministries and out of a total 56 have been shortlisted for this parade. Maharashtra tableau was based on the 175-year-old journey of a theatre of the state. But reports suggest that it was not approved by the Union Culture Ministery. Some states have a chance for the rotational method every year.
Slamming the Centre, NCP leader Supriya Sule said “Republic Day is celebrated across India and all states should participate in the parade. But the government is acting aggressively and treating non-BJP ruled states with discriminatory behaviour. Both Maharashtra and West Bengal have played a vital role in country's independence. It's an insult to the states, and I condemn this action."
The Defence Ministry had on Wednesday rejected West Bengal's tableau proposal. The West Bengal government's proposal was rejected after an Expert Committee examined it in two rounds of meeting, a statement by the ministry said. "The tableau proposal of the West Bengal government was not taken forward for further consideration by the Expert Committee after deliberations in the second meeting.
"It is pertinent to mention here that the tableau of the Government of West Bengal was short-listed for participation in the Republic Day Parade 2019 as an outcome of the same process," it said.
West Bengal Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Tapas Roy accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of having a "vindictive attitude" against the state.
"Just because West Bengal has been opposing anti- people policies of the BJP government, a step-motherly treatment is being meted out to the state. As we have opposed anti-people laws like CAA, the Centre has rejected our tableau proposal," Roy told PTI.
This is not the first time that West Bengal's tableau proposal has been rejected. There have been previous instances also, he said. "Such cheap politics won't deter us from opposing anti-people policies. The BJP has insulted the people of West Bengal and they would get a befitting reply for it in the near future," Roy said.
Responding to the allegations, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the tableau was rejected as the state government didn't properly follow the rules and procedure in submitting the proposal.
"The state government has not followed the rules. Other states have followed them, so their tableau proposals were accepted. The TMC should stop doing politics on each and every issue," Ghosh said.