Will Carla Bruni come? Indian officials start preparing


New Delhi : Though it is not official yet and the French remain tight-lipped, the security and protocol establishment have begun discussions on how they would deal with President Nicolas Sarkozy’s latest companion Carla Bruni if she comes to India along with him later this month.

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“Honestly, we have no idea if she is coming. But even if she is part of the official delegation there is going to be no major difference. It will basically be a media story more than anything else,” a top official involved in overseeing security arrangements told IANS.

Bruni, 39, an Italian-born French citizen and a supermodel turned singer, accompanied Sarkozy during his visit to Egypt last month. Arriving in Luxor, the couple was swiftly whisked off in a convoy of Egyptian presidential security cars to the famed Old Winter Palace hotel on the east bank of the Nile before he began the official part of his visit.

“The only difference it will make will be to protocol. Bruni may not sit at the dais at an official function and may also not be seated on the high table if a banquet is thrown in honour of Sarkozy.”

A reconnaissance team from the French embassy has already had one preliminary meeting with Indian security officials on the arrangements to be made for the delegation.

But there was no mention of the number of delegates expected to arrive and more importantly, if Bruni was part of the mission.

“We were told it will be a big delegation and the exact number and composition will be known on Jan 20,” said knowledgeable sources.

During Sarkozy and Bruni’s three-day stay in Egypt, the police were cracking down on photographers staking out the hotel and a camera crew spent a night in jail for filming the hotel’s facade.

Sarkozy and Bruni first surfaced as a couple in December 2007 on a visit to Disneyland in Paris, two months after the French president’s divorce from his wife of 11 years, Cecilia.

Bruni, who shot to fame for her first folk music album in 2003, has dated a range of famous men, including Mick Jagger and Donald Trump.