Subramanian Swamy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Rajya Sabha MP, on Tuesday (January 5) reiterated his demand to cancel the Republic Day Parade on January 26. Not just this, Swamy also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to request UK PM Boris Johnson to postpone the latter's visit to India on the ocassion of Republic Day.
"Again I urge PM Modi to cancel Republic Day parade on January 26th as well as request UK PM Boris Johnson to postpone his visit to his relief," posted Subramanian Swamy from his official Twitter handle.
Notably, Johnson is scheduled to travel to India on 26th, later this month, as the chief guest of the Republic Day parade here. However, with the alarming development over the new coronavirus strain in the UK and a renewed rise in the number of cases, the leader's visit could be a cause of concern for New Delhi.
Even amid rising fears over the mutant COVID-19 strain, the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had on last week confirmed the visit of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the Republic Day parade.
When asked if British PM's visit to India is on schedule despite the restrictions after a new strain of coronavirus was detected in the UK, MEA spokesperson confirmed his visit and said, "We look forward to welcoming the British PM here."
For a while now, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had been raising his concerns over the Republic Day parade scheduled for later this month. Three days ago, he cited media reports, which state that 150 Army jawans have contracted the coronavirus while in Delhi during rehearsal for the Republic Day parade.
For this and other such incidents which are "too tragic to report", Swamy has been requesting Prime Minister Modi to cancel the Republic Day parade this year. This, he said, will come as a relief for the UK PM as well, since Johnson would then not have to leave London in the midst of Brexit.
However, judging by the MEA's response, it seems like Swamy's requests have fallen to deaf ears since, till the time of this writing, India is set on sticking to the original schedule with Boris Johnson as the chief guest of the Republic Day Parade.
NDTV, in a report citing British High Commission sources, also confirmed that the UK PM is proceeding as usual with his plan to visit to India "to boost cooperation in areas that matter to the UK".
However, as of now, there has been no official confirmation as to whether there will be any sort of restrictions — as far as UK PM Boris Johnson's India visit on January 26 is concerned.
Recently, two new coronavirus variants have been discovered in the UK due to which the government has imposed tighter restrictions ahead of Christmas and the New Year.
Many countries, including India, have suspended travel to the UK and vice versa amid fears of the mutant virus which is said to be more contagious and "out of control".