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Obama trip to avoid Bangalore?

The dates of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India have been finalised for Nov 8 to 11. Though details of his itinerary and programme in the country are still being worked out, sources said that while Obama was keen to visit another Indian city apart from New Delhi, his choice was unlikely to be Bangalore. Jayanth Jacob reports.

india Updated: Aug 24, 2010 01:41 IST
Jayanth Jacob

The dates of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India have been finalised for November 8 to 11. Though details of his itinerary and programme in the country are still being worked out, sources said that while Obama was keen to visit another Indian city apart from New Delhi, his choice was unlikely to be Bangalore.

Most foreign dignitaries visiting India in recent times have chosen the IT capital as the second city to visit, after New Delhi. Obama was likely to go to financial capital Mumbai instead, the sources said.

In New Delhi, Obama has an official meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and will be addressing a joint session of Parliament – just as his Democrat predecessor Bill Clinton did on his India trip, the sources added.

"No final decision about the other city to visit has been taken yet. But the US-Mexico Border Security Bill has seen protests in Bangalore,” the official said. Both countries are keen to avoid any such embarrassment while Obama is in India.

Bangalore’s IT community is dead against the Bill since it envisages a substantial hike in work permit fees from foreign professionals intending to work in the US. It intends to raise funds to strengthen security along the US’s border with Mexico and stem illegal immigration.

Obama has also made no secret of his opposition to outsourcing of American jobs, and once famously declared that he wanted to see job opportunities grow in Buffalo, USA and not Bangalore, India.

In contrast, a visit to Mumbai, India’s financial capital, will avoid any possible controversy, and will also be seen as expressing solidarity with 26/11 terror victims.