New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached United States for a three-day tour, during which he will meet President Barack Obama.
The Prime Minister will also address the joint session of United States Congress and will become the fifth Indian Prime Minister to do so. Rajiv Gandhi was the first Indian PM to address the joint session of US Congress in 1985.
The trip of Prime Minister carries significance for the India-US relationship of the coming decades.
Fourth visit to US after becoming PM
- This is Modi’s fourth visit to the US since he took over as PM in 2014.
- His first visit had come months after he had assumed office, for a UN session.
- The second visit had been a state visit that included a meeting with Obama at the White House.
- The third visit had come in April, when he attended the Nuclear Security Summit.
Bilateral meeting with Obama:
- The Prime Minsiter will hold bilateral meeting with Obama.
- The meeting will be followed by a lunch at the White House on Tuesday.
- This will be the sixth meeting between the two leaders.
Modi to address joint session of US Congress:
- Walking on the footsteps of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was the first Indian PM to address a joint session of US Congress, Modi will become the fifth Indian PM to do so.
- Rajiv Gandhi addressed the joint session in 1985.
- All PMs who have served a full term since have addressed the Congress — Narasimha Rao (1994), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (2000) and Manmohan Singh (2005).
- However, Jawaharlal Nehru had addressed the House of Representatives in 1949.
Likely to meet Democrats and Republics:
Modi is likely to meet members from both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as members of the teams of all major presidential hopefuls.
The NSG factor:
Modi’s visit will be its attempts at a membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). While the US and a number of other countries support India’s bid, it is extremely likely to face opposition from China, which has called for similar status to its ‘all weather’ ally Pakistan.
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