New Delhi: Amidst widespread allegations that the centre is using its powers to practice vendetta politics in the smallest of matters, Kerala's proposed tableau for the Republic Day parade, to be held on January 26 in New Delhi, has been rejected by the centre.
The theme of Kerala's tableau revolved around various artforms and architectural skillset of the
state. This is the second consecutive year the state's tableau has been rejected by the Centre.
Kerala Culture Minister AK Balan on Friday expressed his dissatisfaction over the rejection of the state's tableau for the Republic Day parade.
"One is at a loss to gauge what's happening these days, as it has come to a stage the Centre goes mad, when they hear the word Kerala or Malayalees," a peeved Balan said.
Proposals by other non-BJP ruled states, such as West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar, were also rejected by the centre.
Opposition parties slammed the Centre on Thursday, alleging that the BJP-led Union government has been insulting the people of the non-BJP ruled states.
Government sources, however, said the decision to include or exclude a tableau was purely merit-based.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) said by rejecting Bengal's proposal, the Centre insulted the people of the state for opposing the amended citizenship law.
West Bengal Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Tapas Roy accused the Centre of being "vindictive" towards the state.
NCP and Shiv Sena claimed prejudice against Maharashtra. NCP leader Surpiya Sule accused the Centre of being "prejudiced". She said Bengal and Maharashtra had played a key role in the freedom struggle and the decision to deny permission to their tableaux was an "insult" to the people.
Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut wondered whether there was a political conspiracy behind the decision.
The Sena, NCP and the Congress run the Maharashtra government in alliance.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) also took potshots at the NDA government for "humiliating" the people of Bihar by dismissing its tableau.
"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 said.
List of accepted tableaus from states
The ministry has selected the tableau proposals of 15 states and a union territory; they are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.
Of these, eight are BJP or NDA-ruled states, four are ruled by UPA and three by non-UPA and non-NDA parties.
The tableaux of Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Department of Financial Services, the National Disaster Relief Force, Central Public Works Department, Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and the Ministry of Shipping were also selected for the 2020 parade.
In a statement, the Defence Ministry has said tableau proposals received from states/union territories and central ministries and departments are evaluated in meetings of an expert committee comprising eminent persons in the field of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture and choreography.
"The expert committee examines the proposals on the basis of theme, concept, design and its visual impact before making its recommendations. Due to time constraints arising out of overall duration of the parade, only a limited number of tableaux can be short-listed for participation in the parade. The selection process in vogue, leads to participation of the best tableaux in the parade," it said.
(With inputs from PTI)