‘Trump & I Excited for India Trip’: First Lady Melania to PM Modi
First Lady Melania Trump smiles next to US President Donald Trump as he arrives to speak at the Governors’ Ball on 9 February.
First Lady Melania Trump smiles next to US President Donald Trump as he arrives to speak at the Governors’ Ball on 9 February.(Photo: AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

‘Trump & I Excited for India Trip’: First Lady Melania to PM Modi

United States First Lady Melania Trump said on Wednesday, 12 February, that she is "excited" for her trip to India along with President Donald Trump later this month.

Responding to a tweet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said that “India will accord a memorable welcome” to the US president and first lady, Melania Trump said the trip is an occasion to celebrate the close ties between the two countries.

US President Trump and the first lady are scheduled to travel to India on 24 and 25 February.

On Wednesday, PM Modi took to Twitter saying that “this visit is a very special one and it will go a long way in further cementing India-USA friendship.”

“India and USA share a common commitment to democracy and pluralism. 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,” Modi said in another tweet.

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‘Modi Said 5-7 Million People Will Welcome Me’: Trump

Earlier on Monday, Trump had said that he was looking forward to his visit to India where millions of people would welcome him.

"I look forward to going to India," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, a day after the White House announced that he will be travelling to Ahmedabad in Gujarat and New Delhi on 24 and 25 February.

"He (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is a friend of mine. He's a great gentleman," Trump said in response to a question.

Trump said that he spoke to Modi over the weekend and during the conversation, the prime minister told him that millions and millions of people would welcome him from the airport to the cricket stadium.

Referring to his New Hampshire rally held on Sunday, which was attended by an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 people, the president said in a lighter vein that he might not feel so good with that number.

"When we have 50,000 people, I'm not going to feel so good… we'll have five to seven million people just from the airport to the new stadium. And you know it is the largest stadium in the world. (They are) building it now. It's almost complete and it's the largest in the world," Trump was quoted by PTI as saying.

Responding to a question on a potential trade deal with India, Trump said that he will do it, if "we can make the right deal".

‘Howdy, Modi!’ Becomes ‘Kem Chho Trump!’

Trump, during his India visit, would participate in a grand roadshow in Ahmedabad and also tour the Sabarmati Ashram and inaugurate a newly-built cricket stadium with PM Modi, sources cited by PTI said on Wednesday.

During his visit to Modi's home state Gujarat, 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, they said.

The US president would visit the Sabarmati Ashram, which served as the epicentre of the country's freedom struggle during Mahatma Gandhi 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 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 Chho, Trump!’ (Howdy, Trump!) event, the sources said.

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has issued an order assigning duties to its officers for the roadshow preparations, the sources said. The civic officials have been asked to arrange transportation and parking for those invited for the Motera stadium inauguration, they said.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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