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Your land has touched my heart: Bush to AP CM
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | March 19, 2006 00:52 IST
United States President George W Bush, enthralled by Indian fruits, plants, crops, enterprising women and the simplicity of farmers during his visit to the state capital early this month, has praised Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy's leadership and strong commitment to agriculture and welfare of the farmers.
"It is very clear to one and all that the people of your state hold you in high esteem," President Bush said in a hand-written letter signed by him and delivered by the White House on Saturday.
According to a media release from the Chief Minister's Office, the US President said that his visit to the Agricultural University was very educative and opened his eyes to the long strides made by India in agriculture over the years. "India is on the threshold of a major revolution in agriculture and emerging as a super economic power," he felt.
President Bush was the first American head of state in recent times who had spared time to meet farmers and rural women who had turned up in large numbers to receive and greet him at Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University in Hyderabad on March 3.
"The Agriculture Centre University was most interesting," the US President said, indicating how he enjoyed meeting Indian agricultural scientists and enterprising women leaders from the villages of the state.
It may be recalled that that the US president had spent nearly two hours out of his four-hour stay at Hyderabad with the farmers and rural women at the spacious grounds of the Agricultural University.
The US President had also visited the Indian School of Business where he had interacted with the budding entrepreneurs and managers of the country. During his
long interaction with them, the President had indicated that India was the choicest destination for outsourcing from the western world.
It is a well-known fact that Hyderabad has become a hub of outsourcing and Business Process Outsourcing activity.
The CMO statement said that the farmer-friendly Chief Minister's initiatives for promotion of agriculture and farmers' interests thus received global appreciation. It also claimed that "perhaps for the first time in the political history of the country, such kudos and appreciation has ever been showered on the head of any state in India."
Dr Rajasekhar Reddy warmly reciprocated to President Bush's positive remarks on agriculture and the state's economy.
"Our hospitality has touched the heart of President Bush so much so that he wrote his appreciation by hand to me," the CMO's statement quoted Dr Reddy as saying.
"President Bush's visit has placed Andhra Pradesh on a new pedestal and given it a distinct recognition in the agriculture-driven economies the world over" he said.
The chief minister said that the new initiatives in the realm of agriculture in the state earned it much deserving recognition in the world today.
"I am glad that my dream of presenting my farmer brethren and my hard-working sisters (Self Help Groups) as a role model not only to the country but to the world has been realised through this visit," he said.
President Bush was moved with the pace of human touch in the reforms-driven economy of the state. "The credit for such an achievement goes to the eight crore people of Andhra Pradesh whose un-stinted support and devoted commitment to development has made it possible," Dr Rajasekhar Reddy pointed out.