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AAP vs BJP after Delhi, Punjab tableaux rejected for Republic Day parade

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Bharadwaj said Delhi’s tableau this year would have showcased schools in the city and the mohalla clinic model.

Delhi Art, Culture and Languages Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Friday said the BJP-led central government rejected the tableaux of Delhi and Punjab for the Republic Day parade to “exact revenge on the AAP”, which governs the national capital and the border state.

Addressing a press conference, Bharadwaj said the Centre has rejected Delhi’s tableaux for three consecutive years now.

The last time Delhi’s tableau featured in the Republic Day parade was in 2021. It showcased the Shahjahanabad redevelopment project, according to officials.

Bharadwaj said Delhi’s tableau this year would have showcased schools in the city and the mohalla clinic model.

“The tableau of Delhi, which is the capital of the country, was rejected by the Centre. Its tableau was rejected for the 2022 parade and then for the 2023 parade and now it has been rejected again for the 2024 parade,” the minister said.

The theme of the Republic Day parade was “Nari Shakti” in 2023 and “Viksit Bharat” for 2024, he said.

“No one can say it’s a design competition. The Centre had given us some suggestions and we incorporated those (into the tableau proposal). If it would have given us more suggestions, we would have included those too,” Bharadwaj said.

“Our tableau would have showcased schools and the mohalla clinic model,” he added.

Bharadwaj said it’s not a coincidence that Punjab’s tableau proposal was also rejected.

“The Centre is doing this to exact revenge on the AAP,” he charged.

Regarding the “Viksit Bharat” theme provided by the Central government for the parade, he said, “Any state generally presents what aspects or items could represent the theme of a developed India in their tableau. India will develop through a good education system and better healthcare facilities.”

He further said, “The Delhi government included Delhi’s school system and mohalla clinics in their proposal. Despite this, the proposal for Delhi’s floats was rejected by the central government.”

The Delhi minister also questioned the intentions of the BJP-led central government, stating that it is “persistently” exhibiting behaviour aimed solely at retaliating against the AAP.

“It’s not a coincidence that they not just rejected the tableau proposals given by the Delhi government but also those by the AAP-led Punjab government,” Bharadwaj said.

He indicated that it can be understood from the Centre’s actions that the rejection of Delhi and Punjab’s tableaux proposals was not based on any deficiency or fault but rather due to animosity toward the AAP.

On Wednesday, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann attacked the Centre over non-inclusion of the state’s tableau in the parade and accused it of discrimination.

Eighty per cent of the selected states are ones ruled by the BJP, he alleged.

The BJP’s Punjab unit, in response, slammed Mann on Thursday for politicising the non-inclusion of the state’s tableau. It also claimed that the AAP government had insisted that the tableau carry photos of Mann and Kejriwal.

Virendra Sachdeva, the BJP’s Delhi chief, accused the AAP indulging in politics on events of national pride.

“AAP leaders know the truth but they are not telling it. January 26, August 15 are events of national sovereignty and pride but Arvind Kejriwal is busy doing politics on this too,” he said.

“The actual reason for Delhi and Punjab’s tableaux being rejected is that he (Kejriwal) was using his pictures there and, hence, the screening committee rejected the proposals,” he added.

First Published: Dec 29 2023 | 11:53 PM IST

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