President Obama to Join PM Modi in 'Mann ki Baat' Radio Address

A poster for the special edition of 'Mann ki Baat'

New Delhi: US President Barack Obama will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a special edition of his monthly radio address 'Mann ki Baat' (from the heart) a day after the January 26 Republic Day celebration. (Opinion: 'Mann Ki Baat' With Obama, Tick. But What Else?)

In a series of tweets this morning, PM Modi announced that the radio show would be an interactive one, and invited the people of India to post questions by Sunday using the hashtag #AskObamaModi.

"This month's 'Mann Ki Baat' episode will be a special one, where our Republic Day guest @BarackObama & I will share our thoughts together," PM Modi tweeted, saying he was "eagerly looking forward to" the show to be aired on Tuesday, January 27.

"#AskObamaModi & be a part of this memorable 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, illustrating a special bond between India & USA," he said in another tweet.

"Mann Ki Baat' with President @BarackObama will not be complete without your participation! Send your Qs till the 25th, using #AskObamaModi," he posted.

The Prime Minister also shared a link to his government's special open forum for people to post their questions.

President Obama will arrive on Sunday morning for a three-day visit and will be the first American President to be Chief Guest for the Republic Day ceremony that marks the day when the Constitution was adopted.

On the same day as the radio session, President Obama will address a town hall with 2,000 people at an auditorium in south Delhi. During the visit, he will also address CEOs with PM Modi and later, visit the Taj Mahal in Agra before leaving for the US.

The joint radio address appears to be the "special moment" that US and Indian officials have been planning, to match the spontaneous visit to the Martin Luther King memorial when PM Modi visited the White House late last year. In a unique departure from protocol, Mr Obama had then taken him on a short motorcade drive from the White House to the memorial.

The leaders also co-wrote an editorial for Washington Post and in a joint statement titled "Chalein Saath Saath" (Moving Forward, Together), they pledged a deeper economic and strategic partnership between their countries.