Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday slammed the BJP-led Centre for not including the state's tableau in the Republic Day parade, saying "there cannot be anything more shameful than this."
He said, "in the country's freedom struggle, Punjab and Punjabis made 90 per cent contribution -- be it Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Udham Singh, Lala Lajpat Rai, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Madan Lal Dhingra and thousands of unknown martyrs who made supreme sacrifices to give the country its independence."
"Punjab's tableau for Republic Day not included this time. There cannot be anything more shameful than this. The BJP government has shown its mindset...," Mann said in a video message.
He said "the entire world wants to see Punjab's rich culture and contribution of Punjabis towards the nation's freedom struggle."
On Punjab's tableau not being part of the Republic Day parade, Mann said, "We strongly condemn this. Punjab cannot be overlooked at such events".
"It is painful," he said, adding that his party and government strongly condemns it.
"I want to tell BJP leaders from Punjab, including Capt Amarinder Singh and others, will they raise the issue why Punjab has been ignored in Republic Day parade. Probably, they do not have that much guts," said Mann.
A few days back, Punjab's ruling Aam Aadmi Party and opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had targeted the BJP-led central government for "rejecting" the state's tableau for the Republic Day parade.
Punjab's Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema had said Punjab's tableau always finds a place in events like Republic Day parade, through which the state presents its rich history and culture and the development it has made over the years.
He had said this time Punjab, through its tableau, was to present the history related to sacrifices made by Punjabis in the country's freedom struggle.
"But the Centre deliberately stopped (the state) from presenting this (at R-Day parade)," he said when asked about Punjab's tableau not finding a place in the parade this year.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had also targeted the Centre over the matter.
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