This year too, no Chief Guest in Republic Day parade

There will be no Chief Guest in the upcoming Republic Day celebrations, an informed source has informed. The development came as the pandemic situation continues to remain difficult in India.

It was earlier learned that leaders of the Central Asian countries were expected to attend the celebrations in India. However, the COVID-19 situation in India as well as the political turmoil in Kazakhstan added to uncertainties.

This is the second time in recent years that a Chief Guest will not attend the celebrations that will take place in Central Vista which is undergoing construction.

Last year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his visit to attend the Republic Day parade as the Chief Guest due to rising COVID-19 cases in his country.

In 1966 when no Chief Guest was present at the event which was held days after the demise of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent and the death of nuclear scientist Homi Bhabha in an air crash.

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 at the Republic Day parade.

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