|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
When Bush comes to town, the beggars go out
Ashok Pandit in Hyderabad | February 25, 2006 01:00 IST
Though the exact purpose of US President George Bush's visit to Hyderabad is not known, it is being speculated that he will announce the decision to set up a US consulate in Hyderabad in view of the high number of visa applications that are now being sent to Chennai for processing.
According to official sources, President Bush and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy will have a one-on-one meeting for about 20 minutes.
The agenda of the meeting is being kept under wraps. But it is learnt that Dr Reddy had turned down a proposal to make a presentation on the suitability of the state to set up IT industries.
Instead, it is learnt that he will seek US help in training Indian farmers in modern farm technology.
Meanwhile, President Bush's visit is also keeping the police on tenterhooks. If, last Friday, it was the cartoon furore protests, this Friday, it was Muslims protesting against Bush's visit.
Muslim leaders have launched a signature campaign led by the state unit of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Students' Islamic Organisation.
Muslim religious leaders also formed a committee to coordinate the campaign and use SMS and e-mail services to spread the message that President Bush poses a threat not only to the Muslim world, but also to others who do not like the domination and monopoly of the US.
About 50 mosques in the city where Friday prayers were held devoted about 25 minutes for the special discourse by religious leaders opposing the visit.
They alleged that Muslims across the globe were massacred due to Bush's anti-Islam policy.
Meanwhile, though Bush will not take the road at all during his brief stay in Hyderabad, his delegates had pointed out the possible security risk from beggars moving around the city.
The local authorities, not willing to take any chance, have started shifting them to different places.
Most of these beggars are migrants from various parts of the state as well as neighbouring Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Also See: Bushfire: The Rediff Dubya blog