Making his first visit to India, US President Donald Trump will begin his trip from Ahmedabad where he will inaugurate the world’s biggest cricket stadium- Sardar Vallabhbhai Stadium – in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The duo will be addressing a rally at an event – ‘KemCho Modi’ – before travelling to the capital for bilateral talks. Trump will be in the country between February 24-25 at the invitation of the PM.
While this is not the first time that a US President has visited India (Barack Obama being the first one), Trump will be hoping to garner support from the about 5 million Indian-Americans back home.
While speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the Oval Office, Trump said, “He (Narendra 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).”
“And you know (it) is the largest stadium in the world. He’s (Modi) building it now. It’s almost complete,” he added.
The Sardar Vallabhbhai Stadium, formerly known as the Motera Stadium- in Ahmedabad is the world’s largest cricket ground with a reported capacity of 1.10 lakh people. The title formerly lied with the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with a seating capacity of 100,000.
The workers at the stadium will be in a fight against time to finish the remaining job, with over a lakh people expected to attend the ‘Kemcho Modi’ event.
While there will be multiple points of discussion, especially on the trade front, many are viewing Trump’s visit as the “political imperative” which drove the US President to visit India with the Presidential election scheduled to be held by the year-end.