For 2nd year in a row, no chief guest at Republic Day parade: Report

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 09:30 AM IST

PTI Photo
PTI Photo

For the second year in a row, there will be no chief guest at the Republic Day parade as the plan to host foreign leaders have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Hindustan Times. Though the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to confirm this officially.

According to the report, the plan to host state heads of five Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation in India as well as in the respective nations.

Meanwhile, the number of people allowed to attend the Republic Day parade this year is likely to be curtailed to approximately 5,000-8,000 due to the COVID-19 situation, with seats reserved for construction workers, frontline health workers and others, senior officials of the defence ministry told PTI.

Only double vaccinated adults and children above the age of 15 who have taken at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to enter, they said, adding children below 15 years will not be permitted to attend the event.

Officials said the aim of inviting fewer people this year is to maintain social distancing at all times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are a number of interesting additions this year including the display of painting scrolls along the Rajpath and invitation cards for parade having seeds of medicinal plants.

Officials said that henceforth, all Republic Day celebrations will begin from January 23 every year as it is the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published on: Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 09:30 AM IST