KOLKATA: With the Centre reportedly excluding the West Bengal tableau from next year’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said it was an “insult” to the state.
The West Bengal government had proposed ‘unity is brotherhood’ as its theme for the tableau for the parade, which has a worldwide viewership.
“This year our proposed theme was ‘Ekatai Sampriti’ (unity is brotherhood). I think this was why we have been left out,” Banerjee said inaugurating the Christmas Festival at the Allen Park here.
“This year we have been excluded from the Republic Day’s parade. I would like to know the reason… . I am sorry to say that this is an insult for Bengal,” Banerjee said.
West Bengal won awards twice for the best tableau and the state has the right to know the reason behind being left out from the next year’s Republic Day parade, she said.
“Because we have done quite good in the Republic Day parades so we have the right to speak on this. Between 2013 and 2016 we received the first prize twice,” she said.
West Bengal proposed theme was appreciated in the expert committee’s meetings and the state had agreed to follow its suggestions, she said.
“We were called for the expert committee’s meeting in September and also for another meeting in October and our proposal was appreciated there. We had also accepted all their suggestions, but we were not called for the next meetings because our proposed theme was on unity,” she added.
The West Bengal tableau on its acclaimed ‘Kanyashree’ scheme, which is a conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at improving the status and wellbeing of the girl child in the state by incentivising the schooling of all teenage girls and delaying their marriage till the age of 18, was not allowed in 2015 as it was reportedly found having similarity to the Centre’s tableau on ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’.
“I had sent Kanyashree tableau in 2015 which was not accepted by them (the Centre), but the same Kanyashree won United Nation’s Public service’s No 1 award,” she said.