Obamas ceremonially welcomed to India

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NEW DELHI - US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama were Monday accorded a grand ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan and warmly greeted by President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The president, who began his India visit Saturday when he landed in Mumbai, inspected a special guard of honour in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The prime minister and Gursharan Kaur, the president and Devisingh Patil as well as a host of cabinet ministers, including Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, were at Rashtrapati Bhavan before the US first couple pulled up in their black limousine.

The US president, in his usual conservative black suit with a maroon tie, and the first lady, in a black and green dress, were met by Patil and the prime minister as they alighted from the car.

While Patil was in a white sari with a green border, Gursharan Kaur was in a rich cream sari with an elaborate russet border.

After meeting the Indian ministers, Obama introduced Patil to the US delegation.

President Obama, who reached New Delhi Sunday afternoon, will leave for Rajghat after the ceremonial welcome to pay tribute at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi — Obama’s “real hero”.

He will then hold formal talks with Prime Minister Singh and address a joint press conference.

In the evening, he will address a joint sitting of parliament before heading for a state banquet at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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