The UK prime minister's in-person visit has been in the works for some time but the outreach for Republic Day has happened at the political level, the IE reported.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
India reaches out to Boris Johnson to be R-Day Chief Guest: New Delhi has reached out to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be the chief guest at Republic Day in January, The Indian Express reported today. According to the report, India has approached Boris to know if he is willing to travel to New Delhi in January.
The report states that there is no official word from either the Indian or British governments but speculation is that it might not be possible for the UK Prime Minister to take out time amid the Covid vaccination process. On Tuesday, Boris authorised the world’s first Covid vaccine, saying that the vaccination process will begin from next week. The vaccination process is likely to continue for months in the UK.
The UK prime minister’s in-person visit has been in the works for some time but the outreach for Republic Day has happened at the political level, the IE reported. It also said that if Johnson takes up the invitation, he will be the sixth from the UK to be the chief guest at Republic Day.
As per IE, New Delhi first checks the availability of the foreign leader before sending out a formal invitation letter. In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to face some embarrassment after US President Donald Trump declined New Delhi’s invitation to be chief guest at Republic Day. However, the US envoy in India had said that Trump’s inability to come to India was purely a ‘schedule issue’.
In 2020, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro was the chief guest at the Republic Day.