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India will not have R-Day chief guest due to the pandemic situation: MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday announced that there will be no foreign leader as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations

Coronavirus | Republic Day | world leaders

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

republic day, republic day parade
Republic Day Parade 2020

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday announced that there will be no foreign leader as the chief guest at the celebrations due to the global situation arising out of the pandemic.

It will be for the first time in over five decades that India will not have a chief guest at the parade.

"Due to the global COVID 19 situation, it has been decided that this year there will not be a foreign head of state or head of government as the chief guest for our event," MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing.

The decision was taken after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's last-minute decision to cancel his visit due to the spread of a mutant strain of the in the UK.

India had invited Johnson as the Republic Day chief guest and he accepted India's invitation, calling it "a great honour".

However, earlier this month, Johnson cancelled his India visit due to the pandemic that has escalated in the UK following the mutant variant.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, January 14 2021. 19:47 IST