The West Bengal government’s Republic Day tableau, which was rejected by the Centre, was on Monday seen carrying out a full dress rehearsal in Kolkata. A petition has also been filed in the Calcutta high court demanding the inclusion of the state’s Netaji tableau at the January 26 parade in Delhi. The hearing is expected today.
The tableau features a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to honour his role in the Indian freedom struggle.
Due to the limited time and space owing to Covid-19 protocols, the Centre has selected only 12 states and union territories, and nine ministries, for the Republic Day parade this year. Chief ministers of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala voiced against the decision after their tableaux were not selected for the parade.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee attacked the Modi government for citing no reason for summarily rejecting the tableau.
“We will roll out the tableau during the Republic Day parade on Red Road here (in Kolkata). You (People) will see how vibrant and creative it is, summing up the spirit of Netaji’s valour and our 75th Independence. The Centre cannot absolve itself of the injustice done to Bengal by rejecting its tableau,” she had said during a speech in Kolkata.
Banerjee slammed the Centre for building Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s statue in Delhi at a time when it rejected West Bengal’s tableau, depicting the role of the freedom fighter. She said it highlights the indifferent attitude of the Centre towards the state.
Notably, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh gave a written reply to Banerjee informing her, in fewer words, that the Central Public Works Department’s float for the occasion was already featuring the same as a homage to Netaji on his 125th birth anniversary.