For the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay wreaths and pay respects at the National War Memorial along with the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Bipin Rawat, and the three service chiefs on Republic Day.
Since 1972, every year on January 26, it has been customary for the President, Prime Minister, Chief of the Air Staff, Chief of the Naval Staff, Chief of the Army Staff and the dignitaries to lay a wreath at Amar Jawan Memorial and pay homage to the martyred soldiers ahead of the Republic Day parade.
This year will mark a break in the 47-year-old tradition as the Republic Day parade will not be held at Amar Jawan Memorial.
"For the first time, PM Modi will be visiting the National War Memorial on Republic Day where he would be received by the Chief of Defence Staff and the three services chiefs," Republic Day parade commander Major General Alok Kakkar said on Thursday.
The parade commander said that for the first time, the Army Air Defence Corps will participate as a marching contingent, while the Signal Corps contingent will be led by the fourth Generation Army officer Captain Tanya Shergill.
A total of sixteen marching contingents from the Army, Navy, Air Force and paramilitary forces will participate in the Republic Day parade. The Special Forces will also return to the parade after a gap of four years.
Republic Day deputy parade commander Major General Alok Kakkar: This year, for the first time Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay wreath at the National War Memorial where he would be received by the Chief of Defence Staff and the three services chiefs. pic.twitter.com/eWXHcwpNNe— ANI (@ANI) January 23, 2020
Meanwhile, a full dress rehearsal of the Republic Day parade is underway in New Delhi with several parts of the national capital witnessing heavy traffic due to blockade of roads.
Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro will be the chief guest on Republic Day this year. In his four-day visit to India, Bolsonaro will also explore ways to boost international trade ties, as currently, both the economies are suffering slowdown.