Obama to address joint session of Indian parliament

New Delhi, July 30 (Calcutta Tube) US President Barack Obama is likely to address a joint session of parliament when he comes on his maiden history-making visit to India in November, sources said.

While the dates for the president’s visit are yet to be firmed up, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has praised Obama as a role model for ‘millions and millions of people all over the world’, is keen that Obama addresses a joint session of the Indian parliament.

The arrangement will be finalized only after the dates are firmed up, well-placed sources said, adding that the president’s address could take place Nov 9.

A US embassy spokesperson told IANS that ‘nothing has been finalized about the president’s programme’. She declined to comment at this stage on any plan for the president to address the Indian parliament.

Depending upon the dates of Obama’s trip to India, the winter session of parliament, which normally starts in the second half of November, may be adjusted accordingly.

Obama’s predecessor George Bush, whose tenure saw the signing of the landmark India-US nuclear deal, was keen to address the Indian parliament but it had to be dropped due to fierce opposition of the Left parties to the nuclear deal.

Former US president Bill Clinton and former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe are among visiting leaders who were given the signal honour of addressing a joint session of the Indian parliament.

Obama hosted the first state dinner of his presidency for Manmohan Singh last November. The joint address to parliament is expected to be a special gesture by India to honour the visiting US leader.

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