In what could ignite fresh tensions between Centre, ruled by BJP, and the Trinamool government in West Bengal, the Ministry of Defense rejected the state's tableau proposal for Republic Day parade.
Of the 56 tableau proposals, they shortlisted 22.
The rejection of Bengal's pitch comes at a time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been leading protests against the newly-implemented Citizenship Amendment Act.
Out of the 56 proposals, 32 were received from states and union territories and 24 from other ministries and departments.
The Defense Ministry said experts scrutinized Bengal's idea and rejected it after two rounds of meeting.
"The tableau proposal of the West Bengal government was not taken forward for further consideration by the committee after deliberations in the second meeting," the statement read.
The Ministry explained that the expert committee judges proposals on theme, concept, design and visual impact.
The committee consists of eminent personalities from art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, and choreography backgrounds.
"Due to time constraints arising out of the overall duration of the parade, only a limited number of tableaux can be shortlisted for participation in the parade," the statement read.
Further, the Ministry reminded Bengal's proposal was accepted the last time through the same process.
The rejection, obviously, evoked reactions from Trinamool with MP Saugata Roy calling it "discriminatory".
Training guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, he said, "To exclude Bengal would be gross discrimination. Bengal represents a rich heritage and its exclusion shows the partisanship of Modi-Shah."
"It has been done because Bengal has been opposing the Centre's CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and the NRC (National Register of Citizens) plans. Obviously, this is a discriminatory step taken by the central government against West Bengal," Roy told NDTV.
Since the new act on citizenship was passed, Banerjee has been slamming the Centre almost daily.
CAA will make it easier for persecuted non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to get Indian citizenship, and Banerjee is among those who feel it is an attack on India's secular fabric.
She has reiterated several times that neither CAA nor NRC will be implemented in her state.
At a time when states, like Kerala and Bengal, are revolting against CAA, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that there is no "escape".
"I want to gently remind these parties, please get proper legal advice. Article 245, 256 and other provisions state that parliament has the complete power to pass laws regarding naturalization and citizenship," he explained yesterday.
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