When President Pranab Mukherjee hosts US President Barack Obama for the official ceremonial banquet and the At Home on Republic Day, his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee won't be playing the usual hostess.Sharmistha, named the Congress candidate for the Greater Kailash assembly constituency for the Feb 7 poll, is bound by the Model Code of Conduct. "I will definitely not be the official hostess though I will be attending the functions," Sharmistha told IANS."It is the least of my priorities," she said, adding it was not mandatory for the president to have a first lady to officiate at such occasions.
With President Mukherjee's wife not keeping good health, Sharmistha has been performing the ceremonial function of First Lady when dignitaries come visiting and also accompanying him on state visits by the president abroad.Obama will visit India Jan 25 on an official visit and will also attend the Republic Day parade as chief guest. On Jan 26, the president hosts an At Home reception on the expansive lawns of Rashtrapati Bhavan where the visiting dignitary, the prime minister, ministers and diplomats and other personalities are invited and will also have a banquet in his honour.