The country has not had a chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations after 1966. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been invited as the chief guest for the 2021 celebrations. But the British Prime Minister had informed the Indian Prime Minister that he is not able to reach the country after the country was shut down again following the threat of a genetically modified covid variant.
This was the case after the death of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on January 11, 1966. Indira Gandhi came to power on January 24, just before Republic Day.
The Center has taken the position that it would not be right to invite another head of state after the withdrawal of one head of state in a situation where covid is spreading all over the world. The assessment is that republic day will no longer have any more days and will hinder the finding of a replacement. In the face of the threat of covid expansion, the government has reduced the number of spectators of the Republic Day parade and the invited dignitaries.