Rajnath Singh was responding to protests from the Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu after their proposals were rejected

Decisions to select tableaux for the Republic Day parade are taken as per detailed guidelines, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said in letters to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin.

An Expert Committee comprising eminent persons from the fields of art, culture, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, choreography etc evaluates the proposals received by the Ministry of Defence from states and Union Territories (UTs), he pointed out in the letters written in Wednesday.

This committee makes its recommendations based on the theme, concept, design, visual impact and the time slotted for the tableaux in the overall duration of the parade, Singh explained.

This is in response to letters written by the two CMs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi protesting the rejection of proposals for tableaux from their respective states for this year's Republic Day parade.

Bannerjee had said that the state's tableaux would have honoured Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in addition to other freedom fighters and eminent persons from the state.

Stalin had described the decision to reject Tamil Nadu's proposal as unacceptable, saying it would have honoured freedom fighters from the state.

In his letter to the West Bengal Chief Minister, the Defence Minister underlined that the Narendra Modi government had announced that Netaji's birth anniversary, January 23, will be observed as 'Parakram Diwas'.

He also pointed out that from now on, Republic Day celebrations will begin with his birth anniversary and conclude on January 30.

Rajnath Singh added that the current government is very grateful to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and all other freedom fighters from West Bengal.

He explained that the process for selecting tableaux to participate in the Republic Day parade was a "transparent" one. A committee of eminent persons makes its recommendations after a thorough review of proposals received from states and Union Territories (UTs).

"Tableaux from West Bengal participated in the Republic Day parade in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2021 under the same selection process," Singh wrote.

He added that this year, 12 of the 29 proposals received from states and UTs had been approved.

Elaborating on the steps taken by the government to honour Netaji, he said the 75th anniversary of the formation of the government-in-exile led by him in 1943 was celebrated in a befitting manner in 2018.

Defence Minister Singh's letter also pointed out that this year's tableaux by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) pays tribute to him on his 125th birth anniversary.

The Defence Minister reiterated the guidelines and selection process in his letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin.

He also pointed out that in the past, tableaux from Tamil Nadu had been selected for the 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2021 Republic Day parades using the same process and guidelines.