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Image: An Army tableau during the dress rehearsal on Tuesday.  

Kolkata: A tableau from the Army will be the first to march down the Republic Day parade on iconic Red Road in Kolkata and not the Mamata Banerjee government’s tableau on unity and communal harmony, which the Centre allegedly rejected for the national level parade in New Delhi.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on 23 December publicly announced that the tableau rejected by the Centre will lead the parade of tableaux at Red Road Republic Day celebrations. [READ: Centre ‘rejected’ tableau to lead Republic Day parade in Kolkata, says Mamata]

The defence ministry spokesperson in Kolkata today stated in an official release that tableaux from the Army, Navy, and the Air Force will lead the parade in that order.

Though no reference has been made to the tableaux from the state government, the issuance of the release, first time in recent years, appears to be an attempt by the defence ministry to leave no room for ambiguity.

In fact, the Army, Navy, and Air Force tableaux and their parade teams today conducted a full dress rehearsal on Red Road. The Republic Day parade on Red Road is held under the aegis of the Army, with assistance from the state.

Going by the plan, a Mi-17 V5 helicopter of the Air Force will shower flower petals coinciding the unfurling of the national flag by Governor KN Tripathi.

The parade commander, Maj Gen Shachin Suri, the officiating General Officer Commanding of HQ Bengal Area, will be simultaneously moving past the dais offering a salute to the Governor. The tableaux by Army, Navy, and Air Force displaying military arms and weapons will follow next.

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