A day after Congress leader Shashi Tharoor suggested cancelling the Republic Day festivities as United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off his India visit, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra on Wednesday said that the R-Day parade is not just any ‘festivity’.
Notably, Boris Johnson, who was scheduled to attend the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi as this year’s chief guest, has cancelled his visit because of the growing health crisis in the UK after the emergence of new coronavirus variant.
“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?” tweeted Tharoor on Tuesday night.
“Getting crowds to cheer the parade as usual would be irresponsible,” he added.
In response, BJP’s Sambit Patra said: “Republic Day Parade is not just any ‘Festivity’ that it ought to be cancelled!” He further hit out at the Congress leader, saying that Rahul Gandhi could not “cancel his festivities” and “continues to travel to ‘farther’ destinations often”.
Earlier today, Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi had also advocated avoiding Republic Day celebration with “pomp and show”.
“When COVID has been the unwanted Chief Guest in the country for nearly a year, it would have been best to avoid such pomp&show. Republic Day will be truly celebrated in all its glory & not for self-glory once we have truly bid the unwanted guest goodbye. Jai Hind,” tweeted Chaturvedi.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with his British counterpart Boris Johnson during which the latter regretted his inability to attend the Republic Day celebrations as the chief guest “in view of the changed COVID-19 context prevailing in the UK”.
A PMO release said: “Prime Minister Johnson reiterated his thanks for India’s invitation for him as the chief guest of the forthcoming Republic Day celebrations but regretted his inability to attend in view of the changed COVID-19 context prevailing in the UK. He reiterated his keenness to visit India in the near future.”
Source: Times Now