Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed his “extreme delight” that the United States (US) President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump will be in India later this month and said they will be accorded a “memorable welcome”. In a series of tweets, Modi said India and the US share a common commitment to democracy and pluralism. “Our nations are cooperating extensively on a wide range of issues. A robust friendship between our nations augurs well not only for our citizens but also for the entire world,” he said. Trump will be visiting India on February 24 and 25.
Modi said the visit is a very special one and will go a long way in further cementing the India-US friendship. “India will accord a memorable welcome to our esteemed guests,” the prime minister said.
The US President and the first lady will travel to New Delhi and Ahmedabad during the visit from February 24-25, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in Washington on Tuesday. Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama had traveled to India twice, in 2010 and 2015.
During a phone call over the weekend, Trump and Modi agreed the trip would further strengthen the India-US strategic partnership and highlight the strong and enduring bonds between the American and Indian people, Grisham said.
Trump, during his India visit, would participate in a grand roadshow in Ahmedabad and tour the Sabarmati Ashram and inaugurate a newly-built cricket stadium here with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During his visit to Modi’s home state Gujarat on February 24, Trump along with the Indian Prime Minister would participate in a grand roadshow, planned along a 10-km decked-up stretch from the Ahmedabad airport to the Sabarmati Ashram, said officials from Ahmedabad.
The US President would then visit the Sabarmati Ashram, which served as the epicenter of the country’s freedom struggle during Mahatma Gandhi’s stay there. Trump and Modi would later inaugurate the newly- constructed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in the city’s Motera area and address a gathering, likely to be attended by over one lakh (100,000) people, the sources said. The mega event at the stadium will be similar to the “Howdy, Modi!” event held in the US last year, they said.
Modi and Trump shared the stage at the “Howdy Modi!” gala event in Houston in September last year and addressed a record crowd of 50,000 Indian-Americans. Citizens here have dubbed the upcoming visit of the US president at the Sardar Patel Stadium as “Kem Cho, Trump!” (Howdy Trump) event, said officials connected with the event. The stadium at Motera has a seating capacity of 1.10 lakhs, higher than the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, an official earlier said.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has issued an order assigning duties to its officers for the roadshow preparations. The civic officials have been asked to arrange transportation and parking for those invited for the Motera stadium inauguration.
Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu were accorded a grand welcome in Ahmedabad during their visits between 2014 and 2018.
The three leaders had also visited the Sabarmati Ashram with Modi and paid respects to Mahatma Gandhi.
In view of the US President’s upcoming visit to Ahmedabad, the Gujarat Government on Tuesday rescheduled tabling of the state budget in the Assembly to February 26.
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