The close relationship between India and the US was on flamboyant display as Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed President Donald Trump at the mega show in Houston on Sunday and deftly reminded the 50,000 Indians in attendance about India’s connection with him.
Mr. Trump is seeking re-election in next year’s Presidential elections. In 2017, he became the US President with the overwhelming support of the middle-class white Americans.
“Friends, we in India have connected well with President Trump, the words of candidate Trump. Abki baar Trump sarkaar rang loud and clear…” said PM Modi.
In a report, the Washington Post said that there is a strong political reason for President Trump to attend the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event. Houston is a rare Democratic stronghold in Republican-dominated Texas.
“The rally… provides Trump with access to a potential pool of Indian American voters that could turn out to be critical in next year’s presidential elections,” the newspaper reported.
Just before the mega event, the White House had described the two leader’s sharing stage as a way to emphasize the “strategic partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies”.
PM Modi said, “When I met him first, he told me India has a true friend in the White House.”
“This morning in Houston, you can hear the heartbeat of this great partnership in this celebration of the world’s two largest democracies,” he added. On Sunday, President Trump flew in from Washington to share the stage with the Prime Minister.
He was welcomed by foreign minister S Jaishankar at Houston’s NRG Football Stadium, the largest in Texas. Trump has expressed his enthusiasm for the meeting, earlier on Sunday, which is their third in three months.
In response to his tweet — “Will be in Houston to be with my friend. Will be a great day in Texas!” — PM Modi responded. Presently, PM Modi is in the US for a week-long visit during which is likely to attend bilateral meetings with President Trump to attend several trade-related meetings and address the United Nations General Assembly.