» News » Obama, Biden will host dinner/lunch, but NaMo will eat nothing

Obama, Biden will host dinner/lunch, but NaMo will eat nothing

By Sheela Bhatt/
Last updated on: September 23, 2014 10:12 IST
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For the last 40 years, Modi fasts during Navratras devoted to Ma Amba. He drinks lukewarm water and sometime he eats a fruit a day.

Sheela Bhatt/ highlights the prime minister's itinerary in New York and Washington, DC.

As expected, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's schedule in New York and Washington, DC is tight.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will host a private dinner for Modi on Monday, September 29, at the White House. All eyes will be on the body language of the two leaders and how Modi rises above the bitter past where he was denied a US visa by the State Department.

According to sources in the Prime Minister's Office, Modi will not eat dinner as he will be fasting. He will have only nimbu-paani (lime juice), at the most. For the last 40 years, Modi fasts during Navratras devoted to Ma Amba. He drinks lukewarm water and sometime he eats a fruit a day.

He will have a working lunch on Tuesday, September 30, with Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department. Again, he will eat nothing.

Modi will leave India on Friday, September 26. Only reporters and crew of the government-run All India Radio, Doordarshan, Press Information Bureau and a couple of news agencies will travel with the prime minister on Air India One.

Some 50 journalists from the print, online and television media will travel separately from India to cover the visit.

Modi, like then prime minister Manmohan Singh, will stay at the New York Palace Hotel in Manhattan.

Saturday, September 27: His first public engagement will be a visit to Ground Zero, marking the 9/11 terror attacks. He will also visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum built to honour the victims of the 2001 terror attacks.

From here, Modi will travel to the United Nations to deliver his speech to the UN General Assembly, which is scheduled for 10.30 local time. All the prime minister's engagements will be telecast live on Doordarshan.

After his UN speech, Modi will meet with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and Bangadesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. A meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has not yet been fixed, but Modi does have the time to squeeze in a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart.

On Saturday afternoon, he will meet Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will also call on the Indian leader.

At 6 pm, Modi has accepted an invitation to attend the Global Citizen festival at Central Park. It will be a security nightmare for his security personnel, but an interesting event where Modi will give a short speech on poverty.

The prime minister has set aside time on Saturday evening for private meetings with non resident Indians. Many of these NRIs helped Modi win huge support these last 12 years and there is a huge demand to meet him amongst those who have worked relentlessly on his behalf.

Sunday, September 28: Around 11.30 am, Modi will address the Indian-American community at the famed Madison Square Garden. The prime minister will be in his element as his fans will dominate the audience.

On Sunday evening, Indian Ambassador Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will host a dinner at The Taj-owned Pierre hotel where the who's who of the Indian-American community will get a glimpse of Modi. Again, the list of guests has been strictly approved by the PMO in New Delhi.

Monday, September 29: Modi will meet with some of America's top business leaders in the morning. He will also meet former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Modi has been invited to the prestigious Council of Foreign Relations where he will deliver a lecture to an invitee-only audience.

The prime minister will fly to Washington, DC on Monday afternoon. He will stay at Blair House where State guests usually reside when they visit the American capital. A couple of hours after his arrival, Modi will arrive at the White House for Barack and Michelle Obama's dinner.

Tuesday, September 30: Modi will offer tribute to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi opposite the Indian embassy in Washington, DC and visit the Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King memorials on Tuesday morning.

He will then meet President Obama and his team for the summit after which he will travel to the State Department for lunch with Biden, Kerry and other officials.

After lunch, Modi will travel to Capitol Hill to meet House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner. In Washington, DC, he will also meet businessmen at an event hosted by the US-India Business Council.

On Tuesday evening, at around 7 pm, Modi will depart for India.

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Sheela Bhatt/ in New Delhi
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