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Arnie eyes date with Andhra

Hyderabad, May 10: Menu Malli Vastanu.

Don’t fall off the chair if Arnold Schwarzenegger fires these words — the Telugu version of “I’ll be back”, his punchline in the first of the Terminator series.

According to the Andhra Pradesh chief minister’s office (CMO), the action hero-turned-California governor will lead a trade and cultural delegation to Hyderabad in November this year to explore investment potential.

The Hollywood star met Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy yesterday when the chief minister went to California during his weeklong visit to the US.

According to a press release issued by Reddy’s office in Hyderabad today, Schwarzenegger expressed the desire to visit Hyderabad. “My wife likes the spirituality of India,” Schwarzenegger told the chief minister.

YSR, who is leading a 14-member entourage that includes four ministers, attended the World Agriculture Congress, 2007, at St Louis on Tuesday.

He participated in roadshows in Chicago and San Francisco to attract American investment in Andhra’s infrastructure projects. The roadshows were also part of an effort to get funds from NRIs for development of their native towns and districts.

The chief minister’s office said the YSR-Arnie date had been scheduled weeks before Reddy’s visit to the US. The governor’s office had sent a message to Hyderabad seeking an appointment, CMO spokesperson A. Chandrasekhar Reddy said.

The CMO press release said Schwarzenegger praised Reddy when they met and told him: “You are a blend of a farmer, a modern administrator and an astute politician.”

Reddy returned the compliment by telling the star how popular he is in Andhra. His film Eraser had run for a record 100 days in Hyderabad.

The chief minister was an instant hit at the agriculture congress when he walked in dressed like a farmer — white dhoti, shirt and a cloth headband.

Reddy’s predecessor N. Chandrababu Naidu had visited the US, too, but his emphasis was more on infotech and biotech promotion. “AP is a destination for not just IT and BT but also for the manufacturing and agri-processing industry,” Reddy told potential investors.

This is the second time Reddy has held roadshows in the US to promote his state as an investment destination. His campaign in 2005 had led to enquiries by American brands FAB City and Apache Shoes, besides Brandix Garments from Sri Lanka.

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