Republic Day 2021: On the occasion of 72nd Republic Day, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday greeted India and stated in a special reference to the vaccine collaboration that both countries are working side by side to free humanity from the coronavirus pandemic. It will be first time in six decades that there will be no foreign chief guest on Republic Day celebrations. In view of the new strains of Covid emerging in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson visit to India on the 72nd Republic Day was cancelled. Also Read: Republic Day 2021: Parade Timings, Tractor March Route, Metro Schedule, Parking Facilities & Other Important Details
Before this, India didn’t have a chief guest for the Republic Day in 1952, 1953 and 1966.
The UK Prime Minister also expressed dissapointment over the cancellation of his visit. “I was hugely looking forward to joining you for this important occasion at the kind invitation of my friend Prime Minister Modi, alas our common struggle against Covid has kept me in London,” said Johnson.
In his video message to celebrate the birth of an “extraordinary Constitution” that established India “as the biggest sovereign democracy in the world”, the UK PM reiterated his plan to visit India in the coming months. “I was hugely looking forward to joining you for this important occasion at the kind invitation of my friend Prime Minister Modi, alas our common struggle against COVID has kept me in London,” said Johnson, as per new agency PTI.
Meanwhile, custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman have also sent wishes to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on the eve of Republic Day. In their messages, the King and the Crown Prince wished the Indian President good health and happiness and the government and people of India steady progress and prosperity, as per the publication Saudigazette.com.
While addressing the Indian diaspora in the UK, the PM added,“All over the world, this virus is compelling people to stay apart, including family and friends in Britain and India, who form what Prime Minister Modi has called the “living bridge” between us. “But for now, let me wish everyone in India as well as those celebrating here in Britain, a very happy Republic Day,” the British prime minister said.
“As I speak, our two countries are working side by side to develop, produce and distribute vaccines that will help to free humanity from the pandemic. And thanks to the combined efforts of Britain, India and many other nations, we are on the road to success against COVID. So, I look forward to visiting India later this year, strengthening our friendship, and striving for the quantum leap in our relationship that Prime Minister Modi and I have both pledged to achieve,” he said.