In a setback for the West Bengal government, the tableau proposal made by the state has been rejected for the Republic Day Parade this year after the expert committee made a few objections, the Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday.

“The tableau proposal of the government of West Bengal was examined by the expert committee in two rounds of meetings. The tableau proposal of the government of West Bengal was not taken forward for further consideration by the expert committee after deliberations in the second meeting,” said the Defence Ministry in a statement.

It is pertinent to mention that the tableau of the government of West Bengal was shortlisted for participation in Republic Day Parade 2019 as an outcome of the same process.

The ministry stated that proposals of 16 States and Union Territories and six Ministries and Departments have been shortlisted for participation in Republic Day Parade 2020.

It further said that there is a well-established system for selection of tableaux for participation in the Republic Day Parade as per which the Ministry of Defence invites proposals for tableau from all States/Union Territories and Central Ministries/Departments.

The tableaux proposals received from various States and Union Territories and Central Ministries and Departments are evaluated in a series of meetings of the Expert Committee comprising of eminent persons in the field of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography and others.

The panel examines the proposals on the basis of theme, concept, design and its visual impact before making its recommendations.

Due to time constraints arising out of overall duration of the parade, only a limited number of tableaux can be shortlisted for participation in the parade.

The selection process in vogue leads to the participation of the best tableaux in the parade.

It stated that the tableau proposal of the government of West Bengal was examined by the expert committee in two rounds of meetings.

The tableau proposal of the government of West Bengal was not taken forward for further consideration by the expert committee after deliberations in the second meeting, the ministry added.

West Bengal’s tableau had found a place in last year’s  Republic Day parade. However, in 2018, the state’s proposed tableau was rejected, following which, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Centre of dividing the people on basis of religion.

The Trinamool Congress-led Bengal government is at loggerheads with the Central government over several issues including the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens, as well as because of the expanding presence of the BJP in the state ahead of the 2021 assembly elections.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been vehemently leading massive protests against the CAA and NRC on the streets of Kolkata.