Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the Uk (UK), has cancelled his visit to India, scheduled for later this month, press agency Reuters reported on Tuesday (January 5). Johnson was earlier scheduled to visit India on January 26 because the chief guest of the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to the press agency, Johnson cancelled the planned trip to India later this month, citing the necessity to oversee the pandemic response back home at the united kingdom.
The UK Government, in a political statement, said that Boris Johnson had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning, expressing his regret that he is going to be unable to go to India later this month as planned.
In light of the national lockdown announced last night. Therefore the speed at which the new coronavirus variant is spreading, Johnson said that it had been vital for him to stay within the UK so he can specialise in the domestic response to the virus, the govt statement detailed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he hopes to be ready to visit India within the half of 2021, and before the UK’s G7 Summit that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is thanks to attending as a guest, it said.
The development comes amid a rising alarm over the new coronavirus strain within the UK and a renewed rise within the number of cases. Several within the political quarters had projected that the leader’s visit might be an explanation for concern for brand spanking new Delhi.
Even amid rising fears over the mutant COVID-19 strain, the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had on last week confirmed the visit of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the Republic Day parade.
When asked if British PM’s visit to India is on schedule despite the restrictions after a replacement strain of coronavirus was detected within the UK, MEA spokesperson confirmed his visit and said, “We anticipate to welcoming British PM here.”
However, the present developments suggest that the cries of concern have finally hit their mark, with British Prime Minister cancelling his visit to India.
For a short time now, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had been raising his concerns over the Republic Day parade scheduled for later this month. Three days ago, he cited media reports, which state that 150 Army jawans have contracted the coronavirus while in Delhi during rehearsal for the Republic Day parade.
For this and other such incidents which are “too tragic to report”, Swamy has been requesting Prime Minister Modi to cancel the Republic Day parade this year. This, he said, will come as a relief for the united kingdom PM also, since Johnson would then not need to leave London within the midst of Brexit.