No Foreign Chief Guest at 2021 Republic Day celebrations- A First in 55 Years
New Delhi: In view of the ongoing pandemic, there will be no foreign head of state or government during this year’s Republic Day celebration, the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed on Thursday.
MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava during a press meeting said that this marks the first time in 55 years, wherein India will not receive a foreign dignitary.
“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,” Anurag Srivastava, MEA Spokesperson said.
Earlier, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was invited as the chief guest for 2021 Republic day celebrations, however, due to an uptick of corona cases and rapid spread of new UK-variant infections in Britain, Johnson on Jan 5, cancelled his India trip.
The Centre has also taken cognizance of the spread of mutant variant along with COVID-19 cases in the country and has ordered fewer events during the parade.
The government has set a cap of 25,000 spectators at Rajpath in 2021, much lower than an average 100,000 people who gather each year to cheer the soldiers and performers who participate in the grand affair of Republic Day celebrations.
Also, children who are younger than 15 years will be prohibited to attend the ceremony.
For the first time in independent India’s history, the republic day parade will not culminate at Red Fort.