Obama visit: PM Modi plans Martin Luther King memorial moment for US President

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New Delhi: US President Barack Obama will be the first American to be a chief guest at the Republic Day parade. According to a report in The Hindustan Times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning a special gesture for the US President, to recreate and reciprocate the US president’s ‘Martin Luther King moment.’

During the prime minister’s US visit last September, the US President had accompanied him on a visit to the memorial of Martin Luther King Jr, the American civil rights leader who drew inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi. This was a last minute change of plan by Barack Obama and was seen as a mark of the US president walking an extra mile to highlight the importance he and his administration gave to the India-US relationship.

An official, involved in the preparations for Obama’s visit, on terms of anonymity, said, that the gesture would endorse the chalein saath saath (we walk together) mantra.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), however, declined to comment on the PM’s plan.

Obama will have a tight schedule during his three-day visit starting January 25. Obama, who will be the first US President to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, will be accompanied by his wife Michelle Obama and a team of senior officials in his administration.

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