Rajnath Writes To Stalin, Mamata Amid Row Over R-Day Parade Tableaux Issue

New Delhi: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday wrote to Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee over the exclusion of the states’ tableaux from the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.

In the letter Singh said to Stalin that amil Nadu’s tableau could not make it into the final list of 12 tableaux selected for participation in the Republic Day Parade.

A day ago, Stalin had sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s immediate intervention in the matter alleging the move was an “insult” by the Centre. Banerjee has also lodged her protest over the non-inclusion of the state’s tableau at the parade on Rajpath in the national capital.

“This is also to bring to your kind information that during the last few years, tableau from the state of Tamil Nadu has been selected for participation in R-Day during 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021,” Singh further wrote to Stalin, an ANI input said.

To Banerjee, Singh wrote, “West Bengal’s tableau has been selected for participation in R-Day during 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021.”

Meanwhile, sources in the government have rejected charges of bias or insult towards tableaux from non-BJP-ruled states stressing that the proposals of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal were rejected by the subject expert committee after due process and deliberations.

In a letter to the PM, Stalin said exclusion of the tableau that would showcase the freedom fighters of the state would deeply hurt the sentiments and patriotic feelings of the people of the state. This came a day after a miffed Banerjee shot off a letter to Modi, while the Kerala government had on Friday protested the exclusion of its tableau depicting social reformer Sree Narayana Guru.

Banerjee had expressed shock over the exclusion of Bengal’s tableau, which focussed on Subhas Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary year, and said such a move would cause “pain” to the people of her state.

She had said that exclusion of the tableau, which also featured other icons like Rabindranath Tagore, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo, “amounts to belittling and undermining the freedom fighters”.

Kerala education minister V Sivankutty has asked the state BJP unit to clarify whether they agreed with “this insulting attitude towards Kerala’s Guru”.

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