India may have finalised its chief guest for the next Republic Day, reliable sources said, and it is most likely someone from Africa, perhaps South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. The announcement will probably be made shortly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
Sources said there was a shortlist of four India was working on and that President Donald Trump of the US had never been on it, although verbal, informal invites were extended to him. The White House confirmed recently that President Donald Trump would not be making the trip to India for the January 26 Republic Day parade on account of other commitments.
The chief guest will be a leader of global stature and from an important partner country, sources added. The chief guests in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 were, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, US President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the leaders of the 10 members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations.