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‘Decision politically motivated’: Kerala minister after Centre rejects Republic Day tableau idea

Kerala Law Minister A K Balan said, “The decision of rejecting Kerala’s tableau for Republic Day is politically motivated. I don’t understand why there is hatred towards all Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Chenda (drums).”

The political row over the selection of tableau for Republic Day celebrations continued on Friday after Kerala Law Minister A K Balan on Friday slammed the Centre for its “politically motivated” decision to reject its proposal and asked why the government refused a visual which aimed to portray the cultural essence of the state.

Kerala became the fourth state to be excluded from the list of states presenting their tableau for the Republic Day parade this year. Previously, the Union Ministry of Defence had rejected the proposals of West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar.

“The decision of rejecting Kerala’s tableau is politically motivated. I don’t understand why there is hatred towards all Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Chenda (drums). Have you ever seen a central government who is against federalism in our country, who attacks the Malayali and who gets into a frenzy when it hears Kerala? One of the leaders even asked if Malayalis have two horns. So this is indicating the present state of our country,” Kerala Law Minister A K Balan on Friday was quoted as saying by The News Minute.

“Does this have any politics? Why are they rejecting a visual which attempts to portray to the world the cultural essence of Kerala, allowing people to see, experience and derive joy out of it. What is the need for it? The committee had seen this tableau,” he added.

Calling it an “unfortunate situation”, Balan said, “This is such an unfortunate situation and this (rejecting tableau) is a continuation of it. We are not supposed to show backwater, elephant, boats, Mohiniyattam or Kathakali. What is this crazy situation we are going into!”

Earlier in the day, the government released the list of states which will present their tableaux in the upcoming Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi. The government has selected 22 tableaux proposals — six by departments and ministries and 16 by states and Union Territories — for the Republic Day parade this year.

The states included in the list are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh, along with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Department of Financial Services, NDRF Ministry of Home Affairs, CPWD Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and Ministry of Shipping.

The list comes a day after the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Shiv Sena, NCP and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Thursday hit out at the government after the tableau proposals of West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar were rejected.

The TMC on Thursday said the decision was an insult to the people of the state by the Modi government for protesting against the new citizenship law.

“Just because West Bengal has been opposing anti-people policies of the BJP government, step-motherly treatment is being meted out to the state. As we have opposed anti-people laws like CAA, the Centre has rejected our tableau proposal,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Tapas Roy said.

The BJP has, however, denied that the decision to reject Maharashtra’s tableau was an act of vindictiveness.

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