There will be no chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year also as the plan to host state heads of five Central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan seems to have been cancelled due to the Covid situation in India as well as in the respective nations. Though the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to confirm this officially.
If the guests arrive, then this would be the second time when India hosts a group of state heads as the chief guests on the Republic Day.
In 2018, state heads of ASEAN countries graced the occasion with their presence.
Apart from Kazakhstan, none of these countries’ state heads had been invited as the chief guests on the Republic Day. In 2009, Kazakhstan’s then president Nursultan Nazarbayev was the Chief Guest. As per sources, due to the corona situation, the Government of India is in no mood to take any risk to invite any foreign guest, so the plan seems to have been cancelled.
Last year, British Prime minister Boris Johnson was invited for the same, but later cancelled due to rising corona cases in the UK.
R-Day celebrations begin from Jan 23
Around 1000 drones, 75 military aircraft and tableaux of 12 states and Union Territories and nine ministries will be part of the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath in the national capital. Interestingly, the government has introduced two important changes — Republic Day celebration week will be held from January 23 to January 30 and the main function will begin 30 minutes later on January 26.
It will begin at 10.30 a.m. in place of 10 a.m. to let visibility improve by the time flypast takes place.