A viral post claiming that Suriname's president Chadrikapersad Santokhi will be the chief guest for this year's Republic Day, is false.
BOOM found that there will not be any foreign chief guest for this year's Republic Day parade. We also found that the president of the Republic of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, had addressed the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas held on January 9, 2021 as its chief guest.
According to news reports, the decision to go ahead without a foreign chief guest at the parade was taken after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to cancel his visit to India due to the spread of a mutant strain of the virus that causes COVID-19, in the UK.
News reports state that it will be the first time in 55 years that Republic Day will not see an official chief guest. The last time this happened was in 1966 when Indira Gandhi took over the prime minister's position on January after the death of then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Shastri breathed his last on January 11 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (then Soviet Union).
This year's Republic Day will also be different in other ways such that the parade will be shorter and will end at the national stadium in Delhi instead of the Red Fort. While children below 15 years won't be permitted at the parade, the total number of spectators along the Raj Path has been fixed at 25,000, one-fourth of the previous years' 100,000.
The viral post shares a picture of Santokhi with a Hindi caption translating to 'On the occasion of Republic Day 2021, President of Suriname Chandrikaprasad Santokhi will be the chief guest'.
(Hindi: गणतंत्र दिवस 2021 के अवसर पर सूरीनाम के राष्ट्रपति चन्द्रिकाप्रसाद संतोखी होंगे मुख्य अतिथि)
View the post below and check its archived version here.
According to a Hindustan Times report, external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a news briefing on January 14, "Due to the global Covid-19 situation, it has been decided that this year, there will not be a foreign head of state or head of government as the chief guest for our Republic Day event."
BOOM also found press releases of the Ministry of External Affairs which stated that president of the Republic of Suriname Chandrikapersad Santokhi would deliver a keynote address at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention on January 9, 2021 as its chief guest.
Claim Review : President of Suriname Chandrika Prasad Santokhi will be the chief guest at this years Republic Day
Claimed By : Social media
Fact Check : False