Trump unlikely for R-Day parade
National

Trump unlikely for R-Day parade

The US President, Donald Trump, whom India has invited to be the chief guest of its 70th Republic Day in 2019, may not be able to make it.

This is because of a crowded domestic calendar with officials working to pin down the schedule pointing to his preoccupations with the mid-term elections in November and then the State of the Union address between 21 and 29 January. There are some international commitments as well.

An invitation for Trump was extended when the Prime Minister visited Washington in June last year. It was subsequently converted into an invite for Republic Day 2019 earlier this year.

Should Trump make it, he will be only the second US president to be invited by New Delhi to be the chief guest for the event, the centerpiece of which is a military parade in the heart of New Delhi.

Guests for Republic Day are chosen from countries that are strategically important, according to analysts. In the past, these have included heads of state or government from the immediate neighbourhood, permanent members of the UN Security Council like France and leaders from the developing world like Indonesia and Brazil.

But with the battle lines drawn between Mr. Trump and the Democrats over Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential elections, Trump is unlikely to focus on anything other than the mid-term polls on November 6.