US President Donald Trump arrived in Ahmedabad on Monday for the first leg of his maiden India trip.
Trump is also accompanied by his wife Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner along with a large delegation.
Trump will visit Mahatma Gandhi”s Sabarmati Ashram, take part in a roadshow with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and jointly address over one lakh people at the Motera cricket stadium, before heading for Agra to see the iconic Taj Mahal with his wife Melania.
Trump, who is also accompanied by daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner and top brass of his administration, will get a taste of India”s cultural potpourri during his Gujarat itinerary which is high on symbolism, especially after the bonhomie between the two leaders at the ”Howdy, Modi!” event in Houston during the Indian prime minister’s visit to the US in September 2019.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a friend of mine. I had committed to this trip long time back. I will be addressing a big rally,” Trump said at the White House.
Dance groups and singers from different parts of the country will be performing on stages that are dotting the 22-km route of the ”India roadshow” in the city that has was been spruced up for Trump”s visit. Huge billboards of the two leaders and replicas of historic places in Gujarat have also been placed along the roads where people will greet the two leaders.
Over 10,000 police personnel, besides officials of the United States Secret Service, and personnel of the National Security Guards (NSG) and the Special Protection Group (SPG) have been deployed for the high profile visit.
“India looks forward to welcoming @POTUS @realDonaldTrump. It is an honour that he will be with us tomorrow, starting with the historic programme in Ahmedabad,” tweeted Modi.
Donald Trump, who is the seventh US president to visit the country, too took to Twitter saying he was looking forward to being with his “great friends” in India as he retweeted a video in which his face was superimposed on the hit Indian movie-character Bahubali, showing him as a great saviour.
The nearly 36-hour-long visit by Trump is also set to send across a clear message of growing congruence of interests on major geopolitical developments in the region and beyond, particularly when China has been expanding its military and economic clout.