Barack Obama cancels Taj Mahal visit…


US President Barack Obama who will leave Andrews Air Force Base on Saturday evening for his highly anticipated three-day landmark trip to India is likely to cancel his Agra visit, reports said.

Stating that no reason was provided by the US security teams who were present at the site, the police official have said that they were informed early this morning that the Obamas would not be visiting the heritage site.

According to media reports, among the main concerns put forth by the US team was the inability of Obama’s car to travel right up to the entrance gate of Taj Mahal, given that a Supreme Court order has prohibited any vehicle from traveling within 500m from the gate.

The Agra police official said they managed to secure permission for Obama’s vehicle from the Ministry of Home Affairs and his vehicle would travel right to the gate.

Obama will be accompanied by a sizable delegation that will include several top officials, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama, when he arrives in New Delhi Sunday morning, the White House has said.

Barack Obama’s Programmes in India:
On his arrival, Obama will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at about 12 noon at the majestic Rashtrapati Bhawan by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Thereafter, he will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the Rajghat at 12.40 pm and participate in a tree planting event there.

Obama will then join Modi for a restricted working lunch at the Hyderabad House and participate in a “walk and talk” with the Indian Prime Minister there at about 2.45 p.m, the White House said.

The two leaders will then have an expanded delegation level meeting, which is expected to last for about an hour. They will jointly address the press at about 4.10 pm.

Later in the evening, Obama is scheduled to meet embassy personnel and families at ITC Maurya Hotel at 7.35 pm. He will then drive down to Rashtrapati Bhawan to attend the state dinner with President Pranab Mukherjee at 7.50 pm.

On 26 January, Obama will participate in the Republic Day celebration as the chief guest along with the First Lady. Later, the Obamas will attend a reception with Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

In the afternoon, Obama and Modi will participate in a CEO forum roundtable and deliver remarks at a US-India Business Summit.

On January 27 morning, the US President will give an address at Siri Fort Auditorium post which he will leave back for the US.

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