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Bush hunt: Grooms for daughters

He shoulders global responsibilities, but the Prez a concerned father as well.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 20:06 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

US President George W Bush might have the weight of the world on his shoulders but he is also a concerned father.

"We are also trying to get our daughters married," Bush told Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who informed him that his son and daughter were both married and that he has four grandchildren.

Bush and his wife Laura arrived in Hyderabad on a five-hour visit during which he met farmers, scientists and women members of self-help groups at the Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University and met young entrepreneurs at the Indian School of Business.

"How many children do you have?," Bush asked Reddy while travelling on his Marine One helicopter from the Hyderabad airport to the university on the city's outskirts.

"Is that so," quipped Bush when Reddy informed him that both his children were married.

"I told him that we have the habit of marrying early," said Reddy, sharing snippets of his conversation with the US president with reporters. "He (Bush) said he was also trying to get his daughters married," Reddy said.

During the short journey, Bush also asked Reddy about the population of Andhra Pradesh. "When I told him that it was 80 million he remarked that it was pretty huge," the chief minister said.

Bush enquired about the state government's relations with the central government. "I told him that we have good relations as the same party rules both the state and the centre," said Reddy.

While flying over the Hussain Sagar Lake in the heart of the city, Bush wanted to know if the city drew drinking water from it. "I told him it is a polluted lake and later showed him Osman Sagar (the source of drinking water for the city)," he added.

Reddy also gave a brief overview of the history and culture of Hyderabad, its cosmopolitan nature, the IT industry and the several American IT companies that were based in the city.

Reddy was impressed with the knowledge of the US President. "He is quite a knowledgeable person. He has good knowledge of agriculture."

"Me and Laura do plantation at our ranch. We are growing good nurseries but we are not good at marketing," Bush remarked in a lighter vein.

First Published: Mar 03, 2006 19:52 IST