New Delhi: A tableau of the Election Commission and a marching contingent of the French army will be among the firsts at this year's Republic Day parade with the Indian Army dog squad also slated to make a return to Rajpath.
The French contingent, consisting of 100 French army personnel and 36 band members, will march on the 67th Republic day for the first time in history. Their position will be behind Param Veer Chakra, Ashok Chakra and Mahavir Chakra winners.
France's President Francois Hollande will be the guest of honour at this year's celebrations.
Trained dogs of the Indian army, including Labradors and German Shepherds, will march in the parade after 26 years.
"After 26 years, a dog contingent will be participating in the Republic Day parade.
"We (Ministry of Defence) hope that all these new additions will bring beauty and charm to the occasion," said D. Mohanty, PRO (Defence).
This year a tableau on the Election Commission will take part in the parade depicting the large participation of people in elections.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will present a tableau with its theme based on the 125th birth anniversary of India’s first law minister Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, who is regarded as the chief architect of India's Constitution.
This year 23 tableaux will participate in the parade where the country will showcase its cultural diversity, development in science and technology and economic and military strength.
According to official, this year many states including Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Maharashtra will not participate in the tableaux. Delhi will also not be there.
Jammu and Kashmir will present its tableau on the economic transformation and natural environment.
The state's tableau designer Ahmad Dhar said, “The state has seen turmoil. We want to show people different things about the Valley.”
Madhya Pradesh will feature the rare breed of white tigers. The state has one of the largest populations of tigers in the country.
Gujarat is also presenting a theme on wildlife as Asiatic lions of Gir forest will be highlighted in its tableau.
Bihar, in its tableau, will be showcasing the 1917 Champaran movement by Mahatma Gandhi whereas Karnataka will showcase the theme of coffee since the state counts among the top six coffee producers in the world.
Tamil Nadu will showcase the Toda tribe of Nilgiri district. The tribe is identified as one of the six primitive tribal groups of the state.
Tableaus from the Ministry of Communication and IT, Ministry of Panchayat Raj, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will also be a part of the Republic Day parade.