NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump will get a red carpet welcome in Gujarat later this month – on a grander scale than the event organized for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Houston, Texas, in 2019.
Sources said the government is organizing ‘Kem Chho, Trump,’ the Gujarati equivalent of the Texas event ‘Howdy Modi’, in the prime minister’s home state, Gujarat, for President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi hinted at the ongoing preparations for President Trump’s two-day visit. “Extremely delighted that POTUS Donald Trump and First Lady will visit India on 24th and 25th February. 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-U.S. friendship,” Modi tweeted.
Recalling that “India and USA share a common commitment to democracy and pluralism,” Modi said, “Our nations are cooperating extensively on a wide range of issues. Robust friendship between our nations augurs well not only for our citizens but also for the entire world.”
Trump, at a press conference in Washington, D.C. Feb. 11 revealed that Modi has organized a grand welcome for him in Ahmedabad. “He (PM 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 quipped.
Among world leaders, Trump and Modi share a very good rapport with each other.
Sources said Trump and Modi will do a roadshow from the Ahmedabad airport and visit Sabarmati Ashram to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Later, President Trump will inaugurate Ahmedabad’s newly-constructed Sardar Patel Stadium with a seating capacity of over 100,000 people. The welcome ‘Kem Chho, Trump’ to the U.S. president will be accorded at the stadium.
President Trump is likely to sign a limited trade deal with Prime Minister Modi, ahead of the U.S. presidential elections later this year. He hopes to draw votes from Indian Americans along with his core constituency to which he promised in the last elections that he will secure better terms for trade from America’s key trading partners.
First Lady Melania Trump has expressed her excitement about the forthcoming trip.
In a tweet, Melania thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the invitation, saying, "Looking forward to visiting Ahmedabad and New Delhi later this month. POTUS and I are excited for the trip and to celebrate the close ties between the USA and India."
She was responding to Modi's tweet which described their visit as a "very special one" which "will go a long way in further cementing India-USA friendship."
Former First Lady Michelle Obama, who visited India with former President Barack Obama in 2015, had created a buzz with her dressing and fashion sense. Melania is also known for her elegant style quotient.
Meanwhile, well ahead of his first visit to India, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he is willing to sign a trade deal with India if it is the right one.
Speaking to the media at the Oval Office Feb. 11, Trump said: “I am looking forward to the first visit to India this month. They (Indians) want to do something and we’ll see... if we can make the right deal, (we) will do it.”