India Can be America's 'Best Partner': President Barack Obama at Delhi Townhall

US President Barack Obama addressing the gathering at Siri Fort auditorium in Delhi on Tuesday

New Delhi: "Namaste," said US President Barack Obama, and also "bahut dhanyawad (many thanks)" as he began a town hall-style meeting at Delhi's Siri Fort auditorium in his last public appearance in India before he concludes his three-day visit this afternoon.

He is addressing about 2000 young people who cheered in delight when he borrowed a Shah Rukh Khan dialogue from the blockbuster film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge - "Senorita...bade bade deshon mein...you know what I mean," said the US Prez with a smile.

India's youth and their idealism, said POTUS, "fill me with hope." India and the US could have a defining partnership, he said, adding, "The world will be better if we stand together."

He hailed a new chapter in Indo-US relations and said, "I believe America can be India's best partner".

Before he settled into a speech that celebrated the shared values of the world's largest democracies, President Obama mentioned once again how impressed he was with the motorcycle stunt riders that had performed in Monday's Republic Day parade where he was chief guest.

During the parade, President Obama was seen offering an appreciative thumbs up for the BSF riders called India's dare devils. He had also mentioned them in an address to top CEOs last evening.

This evening, hours after Mr Obama has left, a radio phone-in that he hosted with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi - Mann ki Baat or talking from the heart - will be aired, where he engages with the people of India in a more informal setting after the pomp and pageantry of Monday's Republic Day parade.

President Obama and Prime Minister Modi have been at pains to demonstrate their personal rapport during the visit and announced a breakthrough on a nuclear deal that had been stalled for six years, although there have been few substantive policy announcements through the course of the three-day trip.