Narendra Modi US visit: Hectic Schedule over 100 hours
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have his hands full during his visit to the US, where he is expected to undertake more than 50 engagements over 100 hours of stay – from meeting US President Barack Obama to delivering his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly.
A hectic agenda awaits the Prime Minister in the US as he would utilise his stay to meet top global leaders, address thousands of cheering crowds, make a speech at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and interact with CEOs of the Fortune 500, in addition to his Oval Office meeting with Obama.
The series of engagements – in a little over 100 hours from the time Air India One touches down at the John F Kennedy international airport in New York on September 26 till the wheels are up at the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington on September 30 evening – are all aimed at achieving Modi’s goal of a resurgent India.
In his interactions with top American CEOs, a majority of whom are said to be from Fortune 500, Modi would be rolling out his policy of red carpet and not red tape to invite them to come, invest and make in India.
The former Chief Minister of Gujarat would also be meeting top American political leadership ranging from former US President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Indian-American South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Modi will be hosted for tea by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Joe Boehner and more than 50 lawmakers during his stay either in New York or Washington.
Obama has gone out of his way to host a rare private dinner for the Prime Minister at the White House on September 29, so as to establish a personal relationship with the leader.
Ahead of his main summit at the White House on September 30, Modi would visit the Martin Luther King Memorial and Lincoln Memorial in Washington and pay floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in front of the Indian Embassy. This would be for the first time that an Indian Prime Minister would have so many public and private engagements during a US visit.
No meet with Sharif
No meeting is expected with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who will address the U.N. on September 26, a day ahead of Mr. Modi.
Will observe fast
Mr. Modi will run his schedule on an empty stomach, the spokesperson confirmed, as he will be observing the Navratri fast during the entire visit.
Asked about what that meant for his dinner with President Obama, Mr. Akbaruddin said: “The Indian government has conveyed the PM’s dietary preferences to the American hosts.”
Mr. Modi is expected to restrict himself to lime water during his interactions with President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden, who will host a dinner and a lunch for him respectively.
“He has been fasting for the last four decades and does not want to change this pattern even while he is travelling,” added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.