US President Donald Trump will get a grand welcome on his first state visit to India later this month. The visit comes five months after he joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the grand ‘Howdy, Modi’ event in Houston, Texas.
Mr Trump, along with First Lady Melania Trump, will arrive for a two-day India visit on February 24. He will travel to New Delhi and Ahmedabad in PM Modi’s home state Gujarat.
Mr Trump will participate in a huge joint public meeting with PM Modi at a giant stadium, an event similar to the “Howdy, Modi!” event held in the US. The event will be called “Kem Chho, Trump”; “Kem Chho” is the Gujarati equivalent of “Howdy”.
Over one lakh people are expected to attend the event.
The venue for “Kem Chho, Trump” will be Ahmedabad’s newly- constructed Sardar Patel Stadium which has a seating capacity of 1.10 lakh, more than the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, the biggest cricket stadium in the world. Mr Trump will inaugurate the stadium.
Over 50,000 Indian-Americans had attended the grand “Howdy, Modi!” event at Houston’s NRG Stadium in September last year, billed by the organisers as the largest-ever turnout for a foreign elected leader on US soil. The Indian-Americans are also potential voters for President Trump.
Mr Trump said PM Modi had told him about a huge welcome in Ahmedabad. “He (Modi) said we will have millions and millions of people. My only problem is that last night we probably had 40 or 50,000 people… I’m not going to feel so good… There will be five to seven million people just from the airport to the new stadium (in Ahmedabad),” he joked.
Before the “Kem Chho, Trump” event, the US President, along with PM Modi, will participate in a roadshow as well as visit Sabarmati Ashram to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. The roadshow has been planned along a 10-km decked-up stretch from the Ahmedabad airport to the Sabarmati Ashram.
“India will accord a memorable welcome to our esteemed guests. This visit is a very special one and it will go a long way in further cementing India-USA friendship,” PM Modi tweeted this morning.
Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu were given a grand welcome in Ahmedabad during their visits between 2014 and 2018.
(With inputs from PTI)