French President Nicholas Sarkozy's forthcoming December visit to India is likely to be much play and little work.
As of now it is not being billed as a state visit. It is primarily a vacation.
Having had a trying time at home in recent weeks, pushing through his pension reform plan in the teeth of furious street protests, and having taken up chairmanship of the G-20 on Friday, Sarkozy seems to have planned a romantic — if short — break in India with his wife, Carla Bruni, before he gets busy working with the International Monetary Fund on currency reforms.
Sarkozy and Bruni will arrive in Bangalore on December 4 and reach Agra the same evening. A visit to the Taj Mahal — perhaps a moonlit outing — is right on top of their places-to-visit list. They will stay overnight at the city's Amarvilas hotel. A trip to Fatehpur Sikri is also on the agenda.
"As of now, this is the plan. But in the past, his itinerary has changed at the last moment," cautioned a government official.
The President is expected to reach Delhi on December 5, attend events the next day and then move to Mumbai on December 7.