Besides India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan are members of the BIMSTEC

The Ministry of External Affairs has rubbished media reports that leaders from BIMSTEC countries will be Chief Guests at the Republic Day function next year, terming them “inaccurate” and shorn off facts.

“We have seen a speculative media report regarding the Chief Guest for Republic Day 2022. The report is inaccurate and has no factual basis,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to a media report regarding the Chief Guest for the Republic Day 2022 Republic Day.

A few media outlets reported that India is making efforts to have leaders of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries in New Delhi for the Republic Day celebrations next year.

Quoting sources, one particular English daily even said that South Block is in close touch with the leaders of these countries and their offices for confirmation of their availability.

The daily further said that feelers have been sent through the appropriate channels and the guest list for Republic Day will be announced once the confirmations are received.

The daily maintained that India is hoping that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa or his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, of Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepal, Prime Minister Lotay Tshering of Bhutan, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand, and the Chairman of Myanmar’s State Administration Council, General Min Aung Hlaing, will attend the Republic Day celebrations.

However, the MEA has termed all this as a speculative media report with no factual basis attached to it.

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