BS, Kolkata January 26, 2015: The rejection of West Bengal’s tableau for the Republic Dayparade in New Delhi sparked yet another conflict between theTrinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The relationship between TMC, in power in West Bengal, and the BJP, in power at the Centre, is strained at best. The rejection only aggravated it, with TMC MP and national spokesperson Derek O’Brien tweeting: “Bengal tableau for Republic Day depicting path-breaking Kanya Shree initiative was not allowed. We repeatedly requested... Life goes on.”
Sources said the ground for rejecting the tableau was the theme — West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s per project Kanya Shree. It was judged to not convey the spirit of the state in any way.
Under the scheme, unmarried girls, aged 13 years and 18 years and studying in Class VII to Class XII in a state government-affiliated school, are entitled to an annual stipend of Rs 500. A one-time grant of Rs 25,000 is also offered to unmarried girls, aged between 18 and 19 years, to pursue higher education. The state government had allocated Rs 287 crore for the scheme in 2013-14.
Chief Minister Banerjee often refers to the scheme as one of her biggest successes. Sources said it was her wish that the scheme should be highlighted.
At the Republic Day parade on Monday, attended by US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, 16 states and nine government departments displayed their tableau.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project Beti Bachao Beti Padhao was also featured in a tableau. The 13 states not represented at the parade included — besides Bengal — Opposition-ruled Bihar and Tamil Nadu but also BJP-ruled Rajasthan as well as Punjab, where BJP is in power, along with Akali Dal.