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Republic Day Parade to Have Record 10 Chief Guests as PM Invites ASEAN Leaders

PM Modi said the year 2017 was special for both ASEAN and India because the Southeast Asian bloc completed its 50 years of formation and the year also marked 25 years of India's partnership with the grouping.

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Updated:December 31, 2017, 12:36 PM IST
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Republic Day Parade to Have Record 10 Chief Guests as PM Invites ASEAN Leaders
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: PIB)
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation in his final radio programme for 2017; ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and he ended the 30-minute speech with an announcement that this year’s Republic Day parade will have the ASEAN leaders as chief guests.

"On January 26, the arrival of great leaders of 10 nations of the world as a unit is a matter of pride for all Indians," Modi said in this year's last edition of his monthly radio programme "Mann ki Baat".

He said January 26 is a historic festival for all Indians but "January 26, 2018, will especially be remembered through the ages".

"The Republic Day will be celebrated with leaders of all 10 (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Asean countries coming to India as chief guests. This time, not one but 10 chief guests would grace the Republic Day. This is unprecedented in India's history," the Prime Minister said.

He said the year 2017 was special for both ASEAN and India because the Southeast Asian bloc completed its 50 years of formation and the year also marked 25 years of India's partnership with the grouping.

"India looks forward to welcoming leaders" from ASEAN comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

PM Modi also touched upon various other issues, here are some key quotes from his speech:

• It had come to our notice that if a Muslim woman wants to go on Haj, she is required to have a ‘Mehram’ or a male guardian, otherwise she cannot travel, it was discriminatory, we have changed this rule and this year arnd 1300 women applied to go without a male guardian.

• Just last week, I had a chance of meeting some daughters of Jammu & Kashmir. I was amazed at spirit that they had, the enthusiasm that was there in their hearts and dreams they nurtured.

• Recently I came to know of the inspiring story of Anjum Bashir Khan Khattak, he extricated from sting of terrorism and hatred and topped in Kashmir Administrative Examination, today he is an inspiration not only for J&K but India.

• Just now, while talking to you I got an idea whether we could organize a mock parliament in every district of India? I propose it should be around August 15.

• People born in 21st century will gradually begin to become eligible voters from 1st of January, 2018. Indian Democracy welcomes these new voters.

(With IANS inputs)
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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