Obama ‘may not’ visit Taj Mahal


New Delhi: According to sources the US President may not visit the Taj Mahal. He was scheduled to visit the Taj Mahal on Jan 27. Based on latest reports, Obama’s ‘Taj-visit’ is likely to get cancelled. Obama will land on Indian soil on Sunday morning. From today only, Delhi is under the highest level of security and is seeing unprecedented measures for President Obama’s visit. For President Obama, who is the chief guest of the Republic Day celebrations, security agencies in New Delhi have extended the 300 km no-fly zone during the Republic Day to a radius of 400 km this year, covering cities such as Jaipur in the west, and Agra, and extending to the border with Pakistan.While a no-fly zone bars commercial flights during the two-hour procession, the programme wraps up with a fly-past by military planes.

Some of the measures taken are extra police patrols, extra checks at metro stations, stringent traffic regulations and no pillion riding on motorcycles and scooters. Snipers will be installed at more than 70 high-rise buildings around central Delhi.

Obama will be accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama, when he arrives in New Delhi tomorrow morning, the White House has said.

Air Force One, the presidential aircraft that will fly Obama to India in Delhi at 10 am on Sunday at Air Force Station, Palam.He will be welcomed 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 at Rajghat. Obama will then join PM 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 pm, according to the White House.They will jointly address the press at about 4.10 pm. Then, after visiting the embassy personnel he will sit for a dinner with the Prez.

On January 26, Mr 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 Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan.