Billboards and cutouts of leaders dot Agra streets
February 24 2020 01:21 AM


A day ahead of Donald Trump’s brief visit to the city of the Taj, huge billboards and cutouts of the US president and Prime Minister Narendra Modi dotted the historic city yesterday, including the airport and other public places.
According to authorities, hundreds of hoardings and cutouts of Trump and Modi had been put across the city, especially the 13km route from the airport to the Taj Mahal.
The US president and his entourage will take the route today evening to visit the Taj. The US First Family will spend about an hour at the world-famous monument to love before sunset.
Meanwhile, the work to give final touches to the 17th century monument was completed yesterday evening.
The work of putting up hoardings - with welcome messages for the visiting dignitary and his entourage - as well as cutouts was still on and expected to be completed by early today morning.
A senior officer said: “We are covering underconstruction buildings en route with huge billboards to ensure there are no odd visuals.”
While quite a few billboards show Trump and Modi shaking hands and captioned ‘Two great nations. One great friendship’ and ‘Namaste Trump, February 24’, others have messages like ‘Trump, welcome to the land of great opportunities’.
A huge billboard near the Taj Mahal complex near its eastern gate has the images of Trump and his wife and reads ‘His Excellency Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, Her Excellency Melania Trump First Lady of the United States of America, Welcoming you on behalf of the 1.35bn people of India’.
Trump arrives in India today and 25 along with wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner and a galaxy of top US officials.
The couple will spend the first day of the visit in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad and Uttar Pradesh’s Agra before moving to Delhi for the official reception and bilateral talks.
This is Trump’s first state visit to India and also the first standalone visit by a US president to India.
Before Trump, US presidents Bill Clinton visited Agra in March 2000 and Dwight D Eisenhower in 1959.

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