Due to the pandemic situation, only select cabinet ministers, dignitaries from the judiciary, bureaucrats, diplomats and handpicked media personnel numbering less than 100 have been invited to attend the Rashtrapati Bhavan At Home ceremony on Independence Day evening on Saturday. The VIPs visiting Rashtrapati Bhavan will not be allowed to bring their spouses, and the buffet system will be missing from the event in view of the coronavirus. Here's who all are invited and special protocols to be followed in view of coronavirus.
- President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former President Pratibha Patil, former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President JP Nadda and Congress President Sonia Gandhi will sit in a designated area maintaining social distancing. Other guests will not be allowed to enter that area.
- It is learnt that Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was infected with COVID-19 and was on Friday declared negative, will not be attending the event.
- Ministers of state have not been invited this year unlike previous years, the source said.
- Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Delhi High Court's chief justice DN Patel and a few senior judges of the Supreme Court have been invited. Earlier, all Supreme Court judges and various Delhi High court judges were invited to the event.
- Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and a few senior secretaries are among the list of bureaucrats who have been invited.
- No freedom fighters at the ceremony this time and free interaction with VIPs won't be allowed
- The event has an arrangement this time for four people on a table in view of safety of VIPs gathered there.
- Safety of dignitaries is the reason behind the move to curtail the guest list this year. It will be a simple ceremony this time as compared to previous years.
- Digital infrared thermometers, sanitisers, and masks will be placed at the entrance when guests will join the event. Unlike previous years, the President and the Prime Minister this time will greet guests maintaining social distancing with folded hands and avoid shake hands.
- Earlier, the guest list would touch 1,500, the source said.
(With inputs from IANS)