Another face-off between the Centre and Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government seems in the offing as the Ministry of Defence has rejected the state's tableau for this year's Republic Day Parade. Twenty-two proposals, including 16 from states and Union Territories and six from central ministries — out of a total 56 — have been shortlisted for this Republic Day parade, the ministry on Wednesday said.
The ministry had received 32 tableau proposals from states and union territories and 24 from central ministries and departments.
"Out of these, 22 proposals, comprising 16 states/Union Territories and six ministries/departments, have finally been shortlisted for participation in the Republic Day Parade 2020 after a series of five meetings," a statement by the ministry said.
The West Bengal government's proposal was rejected after an Expert Committee examined it in two rounds of meeting, it 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."
Seeking to highlight that the move to reject the Opposition-ruled state's tableau wasn't political, the ministry clarified that it had selected the West Bengal's proposal for the last year's parade through the same mechanism. Ministry officials claimed that there is a set process to take these decisions and the due diligence was followed.
"It is pertinent to mention here that the tableau of the Government of West Bengal was shortlisted for participation in the Republic Day Parade 2019 as an outcome of the same process," it added.
There is a well-established system for selection of tableau for participation in the Republic Day Parade. The Ministry of Defence invites proposals from all states, Union Territories, central ministries and departments. The proposals are then evaluated in a series of meetings of the Expert Committee comprising eminent persons in the fields of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography, etc.
The Centre had received much flak in 2018, when it, for the first time, dropped the opposition-ruled state from the Republic Day Parade. The Committee examines the proposals on the basis of theme, concept, design and its visual impact before making its recommendations, the statement said.
Due to time constraints, only a limited number of tableau can be short-listed for participation in the parade. "The selection process in vogue, leads to participation of the best tableau in the parade," the statement added.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Jan 02, 2020 11:53:20 IST