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Obama Delhi diary: Private dinner with Modi and a townhall

While the dinner is likely to take place on January 25, the date will be finalised in a day or two.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Amritsar/new Delhi, New Delhi | Published: January 20, 2015 4:25:44 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host a “private dinner” for US President Barack Obama at his 7, RCR residence — his first since taking charge. The dinner will be an “intimate” affair at the Panchvati complex with select Cabinet colleagues and officials, said government sources.

Obama, who is likely to make a quick trip to the Taj Mahal, is also scheduled to make a public speech on “India and America: The future we can build together”, at the Siri Fort auditorium on January 27, the last day of his India visit.

According to sources, Modi has not entertained visiting dignitaries at his residence. He hosted Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the Hyderabad House and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Sabarmati riverfront.

“This is the first time that he is planning to host a world leader at his residence. So he wants everything to be perfect,”

Modi has asked his trusted aides to find out the “personal preferences” of the Obama family. Obama has often talked about his fondness for “keema” and “dal”.

While the dinner is likely to take place on January 25, the date will be finalised in a day or two.

The theme of Obama’s public address is in tune with the Indo-US vision statement, “Chalein Saath Saath”, unveiled in Washington during Modi’s visit in September last year.

The auditorium, with a capacity of 1,865 seats, is expected to witness a town hall-style meeting, where Obama is also expected to field questions from the audience, which will comprise members of the strategic affairs community and students.

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