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Prez advice: Speak lingo of visiting nation

delhi Updated: Mar 11, 2013 01:55 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
Hindustan Times
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For his recent Bangladesh visit, President Pranab Mukherjee was accompanied by only Bengali-speaking MPs. For upcoming Mauritius trip, it's time for Hindi-speaking parliamentarians to board his plane.

Keeping in mind that the mother tongue of almost 5% of the population of the island-nation is Bhojpuri, Mukherjee will be accompanied by Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD), Kusum Rai (BJP) and Satyavrat Chaturvedi (Congress). While Singh is Lok Sabha from Vaishali (Bihar), Rai and Chaturvedi represent Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, in Rajya Sabha respectively.

Mauritius, the last home of the long-extinct Dodo birds, has a diverse population where after English and French, Bhojpuri and Hindi are popular languages.

The nation even has a flourishing Hindi Speaking Union that is constituted under a Parliament Act and enjoys government funding.

Observers feel that taking Hindi-speaking MPs from three key Hindi-heartland states is aimed to add to the goodwill of the visit.

Even the minister-in-waiting for the tour - RPN Singh (minister of state for home affairs) - is from Uttar Pradesh.

Mukherjee will attend the Mauritius National Day celebrations on March 12.