Barring special invitees and former MPs, no visitors would be allowed inside Parliament when U.S. President Barack Obama addresses MPs on the evening of November 8.
This would be part of beefed up security measures for the U.S. leader when he visits the historic Central Hall of Parliament which is being given a make over for the big event.
Security measures in the Parliament House complex would be thoroughly reviewed and all security agencies would be involved, Parliament sources said. U.S. security personnel are expected to be here soon, they said.
“So far as the visit of the U.S. President to Parliament is concerned, the security will be on high alert,” they said.
Right from the circular facade of the eight-decade-old structure to paintings in the corridors and magnificent Central Hall, Parliament is being refurbished.
Hectic preparations are on in Parliament and the Central Hall has been closed for renovation. All construction activities will end in the Complex a week before Mr. Obama’s visit.
As per the tentative programme being worked out, the address by Mr. Obama would not be for more than 20 minutes. It is scheduled to start at 5 PM.
The U.S. President’s programme in Parliament House complex itself will be less than an hour’s affair, the sources said.
The programme will feature a welcome speech by Vice President Hamid Ansari and a vote of thanks by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. The U.S. President would also sign the Golden Book, the visitors’ diary of Parliament.
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama would be accompanying her husband.
Besides the visiting dignitary, the Vice President, the Speaker and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be on the dais. Michelle will be seated in the front row.
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 U.S. President Bill Clinton who visited India in 2000.