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Historical 'Purana Qila' to form backdrop for Bush's address

By Staff
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New Delhi, Feb 26 (UNI) The historical 'Purana Qila' in the capital will later this week play host to an international celebrity.

The legendary fort will on March 2 form the backdrop for a speech by US President George W Bush to Indian MPs, businessmen and corporate heads.

Efforts had been on in the preceding weeks to zero in on a possible venue, for the address by President Bush to MPs, in view of the Left's decision to protest any address by him in Parliament.

Sources said that while the Indian officials had been keen on the address being held at either the Vigyan Bhavan convention centre or the the Teen Murti Bhavan conference hall, inside the Jawaharlal Nehru museum, the US officials had been insisting on the 'Purana Qila' to give an 'Indian touch' to the ambience of the address, which will be beamed live to the US audiences.

The Indian officials were, however, averse to the idea of the address being held at the 'Purana Qila', their objections veering on the fact that it was "not safe" for the US president to address a huge gathering at the venue due to its "openness".

The US authorities have put in place 'unprecedented' security arrangements during Mr Bush's visit, which begins on March 1.

Infact, the sheer size of the security apparatus being put up at places which he is expected to visit, would dwarf even the "larger-than-life" technical wizardry seen in many of the James Bond films or the Star Wars movies.

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