Shashi Tharoor suggests cancelling Republic Day festivities, says crowds during COVID-19 will be irresponsible
Boris Johnson, who was scheduled to attend the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi as chief guest, has cancelled his visit to India.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has suggested cancelling the Republic Day festivities amid the COVID-19 pandemic close on the heels of Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling off his India visit due to the the coronavirus situation in the UK. Tharoor said that crowds to cheer the parade as usual would be ‘irresponsible’.Johnson, who was scheduled to attend the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi as chief guest, has cancelled his visit to India later this month due to the growing health crisis created by the new coronavirus variant in the UK.
“Now that @BorisJohnson’s visit to India this month has been cancelled due to the COVID Second Wave, & we don’t have a Chief Guest on Republic Day, why not go one step farther & cancel the festivities altogether?” Mr Tharoor asked on Twitter on Tuesday night.
“Getting crowds to cheer the parade as usual would be irresponsible,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with his UK counterpart Johnson on Tuesday, during which the British leader reiterated his thanks for India’s invitation for him as the chief guest of the Republic Day celebrations, but regretted his inability to attend.
“In light of the national lockdown announced last night, and the speed at which the new coronavirus variant is spreading, the Prime Minister said that it was important for him to remain in the UK so he can focus on the domestic response to the virus,” the statement from UK Prime Minister’s office read.
“The leaders underlined their shared commitment to the bilateral relationship, and to continuing to build on the close collaboration between our countries — including in response to the pandemic,” it added.
Johnson’s government has announced a complete lockdown for England’s 56 million people, which could last until mid-February.
The measures were taken amid a huge spurt in coronavirus cases which saw 80,000 fresh infections on one day in the end of December.
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(the headline, this story has not been published by Important India News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)