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No chicken for Bush banquet
March 01, 2006 19:39 IST
A fitness freak, US President George Bush will have no chicken when the Rashtrapati Bhavan hosts him at the banquet Thursday evening.
President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush will get a taste of Indian cuisines at the banquet at the sprawling Mughal Gardens with lamb, fish and prawn comprising the main course of the dinner.
With the bird flu scare still haunting parts of the country, Rashtrapati Bhavan decided to give chicken a miss from the five-course dinner.
The Bush couple will not miss 'home' flavour as care has been taken to add broccoli soup in the menu.
President A P J Abdul Kalam started the custom of including a dish from the guests' home country to make them feel at home.
"The Rashtrapati Bhavan is looking forward to the visit of the US president and the first lady. All preparations have been made to extend hospitality to the high-profile dignitaries," said S M Khan, press secretary to President Kalam.
The US president, who arrives in New Delhi Thursday evening on a three-day visit, will officially begin his India trip with a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan where he will be received by President Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Meanwhile, the super-specialty Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi has been asked to remain on "standby" during Bush's visit.
A senior hospital official said the US Embassy had written to the management a few days ago and asked the hospital and the medical staff to be available during the high-profile visit.
"Some 15 days ago, a few US officials even came here to check the facilities. They have also requested us to keep some rooms available," he added.
"We have been told to keep the doctors ready to meet any eventuality at any place," the official said, pointing out that the directive had come from the US Embassy.
The government has kept the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on standby for the visit.
President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush will arrive in New Delhi Thursday evening.