As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh began his state visit to the US, the first by any global leader under the Obama administration, he expressed confidence that India-US relationship would not suffer in any way under President Barack Obama.
"I have no apprehension that our relations with the United States would in any way suffer because of the change of administration," he said in an interview with CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" coinciding with his arrival here Sunday.
The reply came in response to a question if he had any apprehension that the Obama administration will not be as favourably disposed towards India as that of President George W Bush with whom he "famously had a very good relationship."
Manmohan Singh and Obama are set to meet on Tuesday for their first bilateral summit although they have met thrice before on the sidelines of G-20 meetings in London and Pittsburgh and the G-8 meeting in L'Aquila, Italy.
"Our relations at the people-to-people level are of great significance," Manmohan Singh said when asked if the relationship between Indian society and American society was actually now stronger than that between the two governments.
"The fact that there is a large community in the United States, people of Indian origin, the way they have flourished, the way they have contributed to the growth of the American economy, I think has changed the image of India."
Noting that "there is hardly a middle class family in India who doesn't have a son, a son-in-law, a brother or a sister, or a sister-in-law in the United States," the prime minister said: "I think that's a great incentive for our two countries to look to further development of our relationships.