No foreign leader as chief guest on Republic Day this year

For the first time in several decades, India’s Republic Day festivities will be held at Rajpath sans a foreign leader as chief guest.

Due to the global COVID-19 situation, it was decided not to have a foreign head of state or head of government as R-Day chief guest, Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs said at a regular media briefing in New Delhi on Thursday.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was supposed to be the chief guest for this year’s Republic Day event. However, he had to cancel his visit owing to the COVID-19 situation in his country.

Foreign leaders have graced the Republic Day parades every year barring 1952, 1953 and 1966. The then Indonesian President Sukarno was the first chief guest to grace Republic Day in 1950.

In 2020, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro was the chief guest.

In 2018, the entire Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leadership comprising 10 heads of states were present in the Republic Day parade.

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