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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Abhi-Ash to Dinner at White House

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    After an expected hour-long conversation, both President Obama and the prime minister will hold a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House, after which Dr Singh and his delegation will leave for the State Department for a luncheon co-hosted by Vice-President Joseph Biden and Secretary Clinton.

    The same evening will be the gala State dinner which has been moved from the East Room -- which can accommodate a maximum of about 140 guests to the South Lawn (under a massive tent reminiscent of when President Bill Clinton hosted a state dinner for then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the fall of September 2000 which had a record 700-plus guests) -- because of the clamour of the elite in Washington society, US lawmakers, and the high and mighty in the Indian-American community, particularly the high-rollers in the Obama campaign, not to mention Hollywood and Bollywood stars to attend this first State dinner hosted by the President and the First Lady.

    Among the guests will be senior Indian Americans serving in the Administration led by the likes of Under Secretary of Agriculture Rajiv Shah, who has been nominated for the position of Administrator of the US Agency for International Agency by Obama, Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal, Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, Associate Director of Public Engagement Kalpen Modi, Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Rahul 'Richard' Verma, White House senior counsel to the Office of Management and Budget Preeta Bansal, Associate Director for Intergovernmental Affairs Nick Rathod, and Obama's friend, former roommate and campaign fundraiser Vinai Thummalapally, whom the president appointed as US ambassador to Belize.

    At last estimate, the guest list was said to include over 400 and all of those who had been invited had been virtually ordered to be tight-lipped. One White House official told that Aishwarya Rai and husband Abhishek Bachchan "are definitely coming," as are "the Ambanis."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008




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