New Delhi: A teleprompter will be in use for
the first time in the Central Hall of Parliament when US
President Barack Obama addresses MPs on November eight.
As per the tentative programme being worked out, the
address by Obama, who once said that "America has its roots in
the India of Mahatma Gandhi", would not be for more than 20
The President`s programme in Parliament House complex
itself will be less than an hour affair, Parliament sources
said today. It is scheduled to start at 5 PM.
The programme will feature a welcome speech by Vice
President Hamid Ansari and a vote of thanks by Lok Sabha
Speaker Meira Kumar. The US President would also sign the
Golden Book, the visitors? diary of Parliament.
While US First Lady Michelle Obama would be accompanying
her husband, there was no confirmation whether Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton would be part of Obama`s entourage,
Parliament sources said.
Besides the visiting dignitary, those who would be on the
dais in the historic Central Hall along with Obama, the Vice
President and the Speaker would be Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh. Michelle will be given a special seat in the front row.
Obama will take the help of a teleprompter to deliver
his address to the 780-odd members of Lok Sabha and Rajya
Sabha, sources said.
Parliament authorities said this will be the first time
that such a facility will be arranged in the Central Hall.
Osama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual--not
only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no
other president has used one so consistently and at so many
events, large and small.
Teleprompters are textbook-sized panes of glass holding
the prepared remarks of the speaker and which rests on top of
a tall, narrow pole and flank his podium during speeches.
The authorities are also leaving no stone unturned to
give a red carpet welcome to Obama.
Parliament House is being given a make over for the
upcoming visit of the US president. Right from the circular
facade of the eight-decade-old structure to paintings in the
corridors and magnificent Central Hall, Parliament is being
Hectic preparations are on in Parliament and the Central
Hall has been shut for a fortnight for renovation, which
includes polishing, painting and carpeting.
On security concerns during the ceremony, the Lok Sabha
security wing is holding review meetings with the External
Affairs ministry and other agencies.
It was in the historic Central Hall that the British
handed over power to India in 1947. It was also the platform
for addresses by several leaders, including former US
president Bill Clinton who visited India in 2000.