US President Donald Trump thanked the people gathered at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium for ‘spectacular welcome’ as he addressed the ‘Namaste Trump’ event on Monday. “Namaste, and hello to India. Let me begin my profound gratitude to leader and my true friend, Prime Minister Modi. The First lady an I have just travelled 8,000 miles to deliver this message: That America respects India, America loves India,” said Trump.
More than one lakh people have gathered at the Sardar Patel Stadium for the event. “Five months ago, US welcomed your PM at a giant football stadium, and you welcomed us at the world’s largest cricket stadium. Thank you for spectacular welcome. We will always remember this remarkable hospitality forever,” added Trump. India will hold a very special place in our hearts from this day on, said Trump, adding that Modi worked at a cafeteria when he was young. “Everybody loves him, but let me tell you, he is very tough.”
Trump was all praise for PM Modi and listed achievements of his government. He also talked about the history of India-US relationship, and invoked Swami Vivekananda. Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the event with chant of ‘long live India-US friendship’. “There is so much that we share: Shared values and ideals, shared spirit of enterprise and innovation, shared opportunities and challenges, shared hopes and aspirations,” the PM said. “History is in the making at Motera Stadium. Five months ago, I began my US journey with ‘Howdy Modi’ event at Houston. And today, my friend President Donald Trump is beginning his journey with ‘Namaste Trump’. I welcome you to world’s biggest democracy,” said Modi.
He gave another hug to the US President as Trump reached Motera Stadium after visiting the Sabarmati Ashram. The two leaders entered the stadium amid loud chants; PM Modi even raised President Trump’s hand before beginning his address. India has gone out of its way to showcase the chemistry between PM Modi and President Trump, who is on his first official visit to India. Grand preparations have been made for the high-profile visit with thousands of people lined up the streets of Ahmedabad to greet the two leaders during their roadshow.
Large billboards with the words “two dynamic personalities, one momentous occasion” and “two strong nations, one great friendship” are donning the city. After spending the first leg of his visit in Gujarat, Trump will head to Agra as part of his 36-hour whirlwind India tour. After a 75-minute flight, the Air Force One will land in Agra and the Trumps are expected to reach the Taj Mahal at 5.15 pm. They will spend close to an hour at the 17th century monument before Air Force One takes off again for New Delhi at 6.45 pm.
After being given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan at 10 am on Tuesday, Trump will travel to Rajghat to lay a wreath at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. At 11 am, he will go to Hyderabad House for restricted and delegation-level talks with Modi. The two sides are also expected to sign at least five MOUs covering areas such as energy security, oil and gas, intellectual property and civil nuclear cooperation. They will also conclude some defense deals. Apart from some engagements at the US embassy, Trump will meet President Ram Nath Kovind, who will host a banquet for the president before he flies out of India at 10 pm on Tuesday.