Mamata Banerjee accused the centre of keeping out West Bengal tableaux from Republic Day parade
Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Monday said the centre plays no role in selection of Republic Day parade tableaux, days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the Modi government of allegedly keeping out the state's proposal from the national event as the proposed theme, according to Ms Banerjee, was communal harmony
"This year, our proposed theme was communal harmony; our officials went to two meetings, agreed to all suggestions but then we haven't got called to any more meetings," Ms Banerjee had said at Kolkata's Allen Park last week. "But politics has crept in even into this and when we proposed Kanyashree as a theme, we were not allowed."
Kanyashree is a government scheme to give girls money annually as long as they keep going to school. It has earned Ms Banerjee praise and an award from the UN recently.
The union minister sought to bring to her attention the process through which the parade's tableaux are selected, adding the BJP does not indulge in politics on such issue, news agency IANS reported. "There is a committee and it decides all. If the committee does not agree, what we can do? The centre has no role in it and we do not do politics with it," Mr Meghwal told reporters in Kolkata.
At a Christmas event attended by several archbishops, priests and nuns last week, Ms Banerjee attacked the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for banishing Christmas from the list of national holidays. Christmas was declared "good governance day" by the centre in 2014.
Mr Meghwal also denied allegations made by the Trinamool Congress chief that the centre has not been cooperating with West Bengal on matters of funds for development projects.
"These are baseless allegations. The centre has been providing funds to sharable schemes. The committee of chief ministers had streamlined various schemes in terms of fund sharing between the state and the centre," the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resource said.
"According to the recommendations, the centre provides 60 per cent while the states contribute the rest in the shareable schemes. States provide utilisation certificate and accordingly, we provide funds," he said.
On a visit to Purulia in West Bengal last week, the minister said he found only one crop was grown in a year in the district.
"If there is a proposal from the state for providing irrigation in the district, we will consider it. We are ready to provide funds and the centre does not believe in discriminatory acts," he said.With inputs from IANS