New Delhi, January 14: There will not be any chief guest for the Republic Day Parade 2021. The Indian government took the decision due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, in December last year, Boris Johnson was invited to by the Indian government as the chief guest of the 71st Republic Day parade, scheduled on January 26 but he cancelled his visit to India after a new variant of coronavirus was found in the United Kingdom.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “Due to the global COVID19 situation, it has been decided that this year there will not be any foreign head of state or government as the chief guest for our Republic Day event.” Boris Johnson May Not Attend India's Republic Day 2021 Event, Says Top British Doctor as New COVID-19 Variant Aggravates Crisis in UK.

Anurag Srivastava's Statement:

Last week reports, surfaced that President of the Republic of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi would be the chief guest of India’s Republic Day parade on January 26 after Johnson cancelled his visit to India. Santokhi had also attended and delivered a virtual keynote address at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention. Republic Day 2021: Ayodhya's Ram Temple is Theme of Uttar Pradesh's R-Day Tableau.

It will be the first time in last fifty year, when there will be no Chief guest for the Republic Day Parade. The last time the parade did not have a chief guest was In 1966. In that year, Indira Gandhi was sworn in as prime minister on January 24 after the death of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on January 11 in Soviet Union’s Tashkent.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 14, 2021 07:19 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website