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Bengal, Bihar, Odisha many others blanked out at parade

Most surprising was the exclusion of West Bengal, which had won the best tableaux award last year. Majority of non-BJP ruled states, including West Bengal and Bihar went unrepresented at the Republic Day celebrations watched by US President Barack Obama, even as the Trinamool Congress expressed “disappointment” and accused the BJP led central government of rejecting the “Kanya Shree” initiative theme.

Among the 16 states that displayed their rich culture through their tableaux, majority of them like Maharashtra, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Gujarat have BJP government.

Whereas West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, were among the 13 states that went unrepresented in showcasing their heritage through tableaux. According to reports, the West Bengal officials claimed that the tableaux was rejected at the last minute. The “Kanya Shree” theme on welfare programmes for the girl child was reportedly found similar to the Central government’s tableaux on “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (save your daughters, education your daughters).

Reports said that West Bengal was told that a state tableau should reflect a broad picture of the state’s cultural, economic and historical diversity and not focus on only one scheme.

Following the last minute rejection, the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal, which has been not at best of relations with the Centre, decided not to send a fresh proposal. “Bengal tableaux for Republic Day depicting path-breaking Kanya Shree initiative was not allowed. We repeatedly requested... Life goes on (sic),” tweeted Derek O’Brien, an MP of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress. “We are very sad and disappointed,” he told reporters.
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