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Bush may linger in Hyderabad
Ashok Pandit in Hyderabad | February 23, 2006 17:29 IST
Contrary to earlier speculation, United States President George Bush may spend more time in the state than what was contemplated. George Bush's visit to India beginning March 1 would include visit to the city as indications available in Hyderabad confirmed.
According to sources, president Bush immediately after landing at Hyderabad would visit Acharya N G Ranga Agriculture University and later the Indian School of Business. He is also likely to visit some historical places in the state, which include old city. Sources said US first Lady Laura Bush was keen on visiting the old city.
Though security and intelligence sources refused to divulge any information on the visit, there are speculations that he might heli-hop and visit a few neighbouring villages to study the functioning of self help groups.
The state government is keen on this aspect but so far neither the government nor intelligence sources are confirming it. Bush is also expected to visit prestigious institutions like Cellular and Molecular Biology, Shilparamam.
A huge contingent of president's advance party which includes security personnel, staff and other connected persons landed in Hyderabad on Tuesday by a special plane to make all necessary arrangements for the visit likely on March 3. It is not yet known as to where Bush would stay as no booking in his name has been made in any of the star hotels.
The US security authorities are in full control of the visit and even the state intelligence authorities are not being kept posted with the details of the visit including the date. "The itinerary is being kept under wraps as much as possible," said intelligence sources.
An advance US team, which visited the city in last week of January, scouted the Charminar area, Angrau, CCMB in Tarnaka and Chowmohalla palace in the old city.
The state government on Wednesday reviewed the law and order situation and security aspects in view of the Bush visit.
According to the Director General of Police Swaranjit Sen, the police was fully geared up for the visit. He said the state had in the past had successfully made arrangements for visit of president Bill Clinton and other international dignitaries.
George Bush will be the second US president to visit the city. Earlier in March 2000 president Clinton visited Hyderabad and spent six hours, visited hi tech city, delivered a speech there and also visited a local hospital.The government feels that there would be no protests from the left parties as the focus of protests for them would be New Delhi. But there are apprehensions that some Muslim organisations might organise protests opposing his visit and hence the state government is making necessary arrangements to ensure that the visit passes off smoothly.