Guess who is going for PM’s Obama dinner?

November 4th, 2010 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Bollywood veterans Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar and academic Najeeb Jung are among those invited for the private dinner Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is hosting for US President Barack Obama on Sunday.

Manmohan Singh will spend half hour with Obama alone before joining the select guests at his 7 Race Course residence, highly-placed sources told IANS.

The meeting will set the stage for wide-ranging talks between the two leaders Monday.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who also heads India’s ruling coalition, will share the table with Obama and First Lady Michelle.

From the cabinet, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will be present at the exclusive do.

Top aides to the prime minister, including National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Principal Secretary T.K.A. Nair, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, India’s ambassador to US Meera Shankar and Deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia will also be present.

From the American side, besides National Security Adviser Tom Donillon, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, US ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer and Rajiv Shah, administrator of USAID, are expected at the dinner.

Obama begins his four-day visit to India from Mumbai Nov 6 and lands in Delhi Sunday afternoon.

Obama hosted the first state dinner of his presidency in honour of Manmohan Singh under a sprawling white tent on the lawns of the White House in November last year that brought together the Who’s Who of Washington and the Indian-American community.

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