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OBAMA'S VIRTUAL OFFICE IN INDIA...

The White House will, of course, stay in Washington but the heart of the famous building will move to India when President Barack Obama lands in Mumbai on Saturday. Communications set-up, nuclear button, a fleet of limousines and majority of the White House staff will be in India accompanying the President on this three-day visit that will cover Mumbai and Delhi. He will also be protected by a fleet of 34 warships, including an aircraft carrier, which will patrol the sea lanes off the Mumbai coast during his two-day stay there beginning Saturday. The measure has been taken as Mumbai attack in 2008 took place from the sea.

Arrangements have been put in place for emergency evacuation, if needed. Obama is expected to fly by a helicopter -- Marine One -- from the city airport to the Indian Navy's helibase INS Shikra at Colaba in south Mumbai. From there, he will drive down in Lincoln Continental -- the Presidential limousine -- to the nearby the Taj Hotel. Two jets, armed with advanced communication and security systems, and a fleet of over 40 cars will be part of Obamas convoy. Around 800 rooms have been booked for the President and his entourage in Taj Hotel and Hyatt.

The President will have a security ring of American elite Secret Service, which are tasked to guard the President, along with National Security Guards (NSG) and personnel from central paramilitary forces and local police in Mumbai and Delhi. Similar arrangements will be in place in Delhi, with the Air Force One to be kept in all readiness throughout Obama's stay here from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday morning. Maurya Hotel, where the President will stay, has already been swarmed by American security personnel and protective measures have been put in place. Security drills are already been carried out at the hotel as well as Rajghat which he will visit.

Rehearsal at Parliament

A rehearsal is being planned tomorrow in Parliament House for the November 8 visit of US President Barack Obama when he will address members in the historic Central Hall. Parliament sources said that the move is aimed at ensuring that the much talked about function in the citadel of the world's largest democracy turns out to be a smooth affair, logistically.
To roll out a red carpet for Obama, Parliament House has been given a makeover. Right from the circular facade of the eight-decade-old structure to paintings in the corridors and magnificent Central Hall, Parliament has been refurbished. The function has been organised by the Indian Parliamentary Group headed by Speaker Meira Kumar.
As per the detailed programme, the visiting dignitary will start the address at 1738 hours. He will arrive in Parliament House at 1725 hours. He will be received by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Speaker Meira Kumar and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. While the Vice-President will deliver the welcome address, the Speaker will propose the Vote of Thanks. A teleprompter will be in use for the first time in the Central Hall when the US President addresses MPs.
Teleprompters are textbook-sized panes of glass holding the prepared remarks of the speaker which rests on top of a tall, narrow pole and in front of the podium during speeches.

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