First time in 55 years, possibility of not being the main guest on Republic Day

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A few weeks before the Republic Day celebrations, with the cancellation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit, this may be the first time in 55 years that India is likely to have no main guest for the Republic Day parade. Boris Johnson’s move comes amid the spread of the new, more contagious mutant strain of the novel coronavirus.

It will be the first time in at least five decades that the Republic Day celebrations will not have a main guest. The last time the parade did not have a main guest was in 1966, when Indira Gandhi was sworn in as Prime Minister on January 24 after Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri passed away on January 11. Also in 1952 and 1953, the Republic Day parade took place. no main guest.

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An official said the decision was made for several reasons. “We didn’t want to put a foreign dignitary in a sticky situation,” the official said, noting that a last minute acceptance of India’s invitation could be potentially embarrassing for the returning guest as the head of state would be considered a replacement. .

However, some media reports suggest that the Indian-born President of the Republic of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, is likely to be the main guest of the Indian Republic Day parade on January 26. But there is no official confirmation on this at the moment.

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An invitation to be the main guest of the Indian Republic Day is a special honor for the visiting foreign dignitary. New Delhi has woven strategy with hospitality while choosing the main guest. The choice is dictated by a number of factors – strategic and diplomatic, business interests and geopolitics.

Similar past incidents

– In 2013, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman was unable to come due to a communication problem.

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– The King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, came for the Republic Day celebrations.

– In 2019, US President Donald Trump was unable to attend the Republic Day parade.

– India invited South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who attended the Republic Day celebrations.

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