Gidda, bhangra folk dancers welcome Hollande in Corbusier city (Sidelights)

Chandigarh, Jan 24 (IANS) Folk artistes from Punjab performed gidda and bhangra dances to welcome French President Francois Hollande on his arrival at the airport here.

He was also greeted by folk artistes at the Government Museum and Art Gallery.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup in a tweet said the guest from France was accorded a traditional welcome.

“Bhangra beats to extend a warm welcome for President @fhollande at the Capitol Complex,” he tweeted.


Hollande shakes hand with groundboy

While disembarking from his plane at the Chandigarh airport, French President Francois Hollande went for a handshake that was not listed on the programme — with an airport groundboy.

After the French president’s plane landed, a groundboy, donning a fluorescent safety vest, attached the alighting platform to it.

Even as the ground staff was giving the final touches to the exercise, the French president emerged from the plane and began stepping down the stairs. Hollande shook hands with the groundboy, who was standing midway on the platform.

The French president was thereafter received by Haryana and Punjab Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Chandigarh Lok Sabha member Kirron Kher.


Punjab CM Badal still unwell

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday could not meet Modi and Hollande, as he was advised rest by doctors and kept under observation at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here.

All engagements of the chief minister, who was admitted to PGIMER on Friday following chest congestion and fever, have been cancelled.


Rock Garden creator’s son told to leave

Rock Garden creator Nek Chand’s son Anuj Saini was on Sunday asked by security officials to leave the garden moments before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande arrived at the venue in Chandigarh.

Saini was told to leave the place as his name did not figure in the guest list, an official said.

“It’s really sad that I was told to leave the place,” a visibly upset Saini, who helped his father in developing and maintaining the garden sculptures, later told reporters.

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