Centre’s Sources Say Punjab’s Allegations In Tableau Row Baseless: Report

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Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has accused the Centre of discrimination

New Delhi:

Amid allegation by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann about discrimination over the selection of tableaux for the Republic Day Parade 2024, Ministry of Defence sources on Sunday said that the Punjab tableau did not align to the “broader themes” of this year’s tableau.

According to the sources, the tableau proposal of Punjab was considered in the first three rounds of meetings of the Expert Committee.

After the third round of meetings, the tableau of Punjab could not be taken forward by the Expert Committee for further consideration for not aligning with the broader themes of this year’s tableau, the sources.

Furthermore, as per the ministry sources, West Bengal’s proposal was also rejected for the same reasons.

While the tableau proposal of West Bengal was considered in the first two rounds of meetings of the Expert Committee. After the second round of meetings, the tableau of West Bengal could not be taken forward by the Expert Committee for further consideration for not aligning with the broader themes of this year’s tableau, the sources added.

For Republic Day Parade 2024, 30 states/Union Territories had shown their willingness to participate in the parade, the sources said.

Out of these 30, like every year, only 15-16 states/Union Territories will be finally selected to present their tableaux in the 2024 Republic Day Parade, it added.

The sources said that during the last few years, the tableau of Punjab has been shortlisted for the Republic Day Parade by the Expert Committee in the years 2017 to 2022 (six times in the last eight years) and the tableau of West Bengal for the years 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2023 (five times in last eight years) by following the same procedure as stated earlier.

The Defence Ministry sources outlined that the tableaux proposals received from various states/Union territories and central ministries are evaluated in a series of meetings of the “Expert Committee for selection of tableaux” comprising eminent persons in the field of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography.

The committee examines the proposals based on theme, concept, design and visual impact before making its recommendations.

Due to the time allotted for tableaux in the overall duration of the parade, shortlisting of tableaux is done by the Expert Committee, which leads to the participation of the best tableaux in the parade.

Calling the criticism by states baseless, the sources further asserted that the central government is preparing a three-year programme covering all states/Union territories, which will be shared with all the States/Union Territories, adding all states should be allowed to display their tableaux as per a formula.

Moreover, the states/Union territories not being selected for the Republic Day Parade 2024 are being invited to showcase their tableaux during Bharat Parv at Red Fort from January 23-31 2024 following the MoU signed with states/Union Territories, the sources added.

Earlier this week, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann hit out at the BJP-led central government over the non-inclusion of the state’s tableau for the Republic Day parade, alleging that the Centre has discriminated against the states ruled by the Aam Aadmi Party.

The Punjab Chief Minister said that, like last year, this year too, Punjab’s tableau for January 26 will not be included.

He also claimed that the decision of the Centre shows how much “poison” it has in its heart against the people of Punjab.

Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the BJP-led Centre keeps “bothering” the Delhi and Punjab governments led by the Aam Aadmi Party.

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