On Tuesday BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan on Twitter asked Kerala CM Oommen Chandy why he could not ensure the inclusion of the Kerala tableau in the Republic Day parade.
If indeed Chandy believed that Sabarimala represents Kerala’s pride –Kummanam tweeted- Chandy would have overcome all opposition and ensured its inclusion.
State government officials had reportedly sought the PMO’s intervention for the tableau’s inclusion after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Expert Committee decided against its inclusion.
The Lord Ayyappa tableau from Kerala had made it to the model and music stages but failed to get clearance in the final stage.
The rejection ironically came on the very same day PM Modi had expressed his desire to visit the Sabarimala shrine during his recent visit to Kerala.
Giving the PMO a clear chit, Kummanam sought to place the blame on the Chandy government for not being quick to redress the grievances against the tableau’s exclusion.
Had the government been diligent in its efforts to rectify the anomalies pointed out by the committee, Kummanam was sure that the tableau would have been part of the 67th Republic Day celebrations at the famed Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Commenting on the issue, state Culture Minister KC Joseph said to The News Minute: "We don't know what happened. When we first proposed the Sabarimala tableau with the Harivarasanam song as the background score, they had suggested a few changes. They had a meeting with the PRD a couple of times. But they rejected it and are yet to give an explanation for the same. This is unfair. Kummanam is trying to protect his government. Let him point out what exactly was the government's fault. We had re- submitted it by addressing all faults and suggestions that were brought to our notice."
The Kerala float had also not figured even in last year’s Republic Day celebrations, in which floats from West Bengal, Nagaland, Odisha, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Bihar too were missing.