Prez to have hectic meeting day in Delhi


President Ram Baran Yadav is set to have high-level political deliberations in New Delhi on Wednesday as the highlight of his five-day India visit.

The meetings will start with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khursid at Hotel Oberoi where President Yadav is staying. President Yadav will reach Rastrapati Bhawan at Raisina Hill later for

talks with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee. Another crucial deliberation be on 7 Race Course Road with Indian Prime Manmohan Singh in the evening. Earlier in the afternoon, Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari will call on President Yadav in Hotel Oberoi.

Crucial meetings will also continue on Thursday. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Defence Minister AK Antony and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai will meet the President separately. The same day, he will have a health check-up at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS ). The Nepali embassy in Delhi will organise a reception in President Yadav’s honour on Thursday.

Senior leaders from the ruling and opposition parties of India

are also scheduled to meet Yadav.

On Friday, he will grace a play

of Maithili artists from Nepal at

the local Sriram Centre. He is

scheduled to return home on Saturday afternoon.

Why Racecourse for meeting?

As per the schedule made available by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, President Yadav will go to the official residence of Indian Prime Minister Singh at Race Course Road, where a dinner will follow. This arrangement has invited criticisms from experts.

“It’s the breach of protocol for a President of a country to go the official residence of the prime minister of the host country,” said former Protocol chief Gopal Thapa. However, Nepali government officials say it is not tantamount to a protocol breach because “as the executive head, the prime minister could meet the visiting President of another country at his residence and host a dinner on the nation’s behalf”.

In 2011, when President Yadav was on a similar official visit, the banquet was hosted by his erstwhile Indian counterpart Pratibhadevi Singh Patil. During the visit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had held discussions with Yadav in a delegation meeting along with senior ministers of his Cabinet at Hyderabad House—the venue for state banquets and high-level meetings with foreign dignitaries.

Honorary doctorate

On Tuesday, Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University and President of Indian Council for Cultural Relations Karan Singh conferred an honorary doctorate degree—Doctor of Law (LLD)—on President Yadav amid a special convocation function on the university premises. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee was the chief guest of the function. The programme marked the 150 birth anniversary of BHU founder Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. Earlier, President Yadav’s office had claimed that he was receiving the Doctor of Letters (DLitt) honour but the university denied the report on Monday. Delivering the acceptance speech on Tuesday, President Yadav also corrected his written statement.

Soon after the function, President Yadav headed for the Indian Capital.


Posted on: 2012-12-26 08:32