New Delhi: A day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K Stalin sought the Prime Minister's intervention to re-instated Tamil Nadu's tableau in the Republic Day parade, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has penned a letter to the state on their rejection from the tableaux, which could not make it to the final 12.
Another letter was also sent to Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, as the controversy over submissions from non-BJP ruled states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Bengal intensifies.
"This is also to bring to your kind information that during the last few years, tableau from the state of Tamil Nadu has been selected for participation in R-Day during 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021," Singh further wrote to Stalin, as quoted by ANI.
VO Chidambaranar, Maha Kavi Bharathiar, Veeramangai Velu Nachiyar, Maruthu brothers are among the several freedom fighters from Tamil Nadu which were chosen to be showcased in the state's tableau, M.K Stalin had said in his letter to the PM. "Exclusion" of the tableau of Tamil Nadu would "deeply hurt the sentiments and patriotic feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu," he added.
Kerala Education Minister V. Sivankutty had alleged that Kerala's tableau was rejected after the Kerala government suggested putting Ezhava reformer Sree Narayana Guru at the head, whereas the committee for selection had wanted Sree Shankaracharya.
However, the Central government has denied any bias in the selection process, as it said it had no role in the picking of tableaux. The tableaux proposals of states including Kerala were rejected by the committee "after due process and due deliberations."
The Centre also criticised the "wrong precedent" adopted by chief ministers of states to portray an outcome of an objective process as flash point between the Centre and states, sources told the Indian Express.