Sonia, Manmohan call on US President Obama

SansadTV Bureau

Sonia_ObamaCongress chief Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party leaders on Monday met US President Barack Obama.

The Congress delegation, which also included party Vice President Rahul Gandhi and former Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, met Obama and his wife Michelle at ITC Maurya Hotel, where they are staying.

Congress had on Sunday reacted cautiously to the “breakthrough” in the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement saying it would have to see the fine print on whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed issues raised by the US within India’s legal framework and sought details as to how the difficulties were overcome.

This is the second visit of Obama to India. In a departure from protocol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had received Obama and his wife Michelle at the Palam airport on Sunday.

During his last visit to India in November, 2010, Obama and his wife Michelle were received at the airport by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur.

The Indian Prime Minister receiving the US head of state at airport is a reflection of the importance India attaches to its strategic ties with the global super power.

Obama is the first US President to have graced the Republic Day celebrations here. Obama arrived in the national capital on Sunday on a three-day visit.

Rahul Gandhi had not been able to attend the banquet hosted in honour of Obama by President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday.

There was no immediate word on what transpired in the meeting of the Congress delegation with Obama today.

A similar Congress delegation had also met Chinese President Xi Jinping during his India visit in September last year.

Sonia had then told the Chinese President that even though Congress is in opposition, it remains committed to strengthening of bilateral ties with China as it did when it was in government.