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Manmohan bats for Laura

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 2 (UNI) ''I am truly sorry that the President is not taking you to Taj Mahal this time!'' said Prime Ministry Manmohan Singh trying to comfort US First Lady Laura Bush who is going to miss the world's most famous monument to love.

Dr Singh held out some hope for Laura that her date with the Taj could still materialise during her next visit.

''I hope he (US President George W Bush) will be more chivalrous the next time you are here,'' the Prime Minister said at the luncheon he hosted for the distinguished couple.

Laura reacted by letting out a broad smile with Mr Bush, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Dr Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur joining in.

A visit to the Taj is not in the intinerary of Mr Bush, who had said before starting out for India that had he been the scheduler, he would have put the visit on.

Mr Bush had said that he hopes he would be invited back sometime after this trip.

The 17th century monument built by Shahjahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz had charmed the then US President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary during their visit to India in 2000.

Clinton then famously commented that there are only two kinds of people in the world, ''those who have seen the Taj Mahal and love it and those who have not seen the Taj and love it''.

UNI FZ RL DS1603

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