New Delhi: Barack Obama, who will be the first US President to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations, will have a loaded itinerary with engagements ranging from political to economic and academic during his three-day trip beginning Sunday that will culminate with a visit to iconic Taj Mahal.
The American President will be accompanied by his wife Michelle and a delegation comprising top Pentagon and White House officials. Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power and Coal Piyush Goyal will be the minister-in-waiting for Obama during his India stay.
Giving the details of Obama's schedule, the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said as was usual for such State visits, following President's arrival, he will be received ceremonially at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan and he will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the Rajghat.
Again in accordance with the protocol for such visits, there will be bilateral discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama at the Hyderabad House, both in a restricted format as well as delegation-level discussions over a luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister, he said. In the evening, Obama will meet President Pranab Mukherjee, who will host a banquet for the visiting dignitary. On January 26, after being the Chief Guest at the Republic Day function, Obama will also attend President's “At Home” reception before addressing business events along with the Prime Minister.
On January 27, apart from joint radio talk ‘Mann ki baat' with Modi, Obama is expected to address a select gathering in the morning.
Later in the day, the President and the First Lady are expected to visit Agra before their departure from New Delhi. Obama is also the first US President to visit India twice.