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Modi-Trump bonhomie peaks in US

Agencies

Houston (US)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday introduced US President Donald Trump to the Indian-Americans at the mega ‘Howdy, Modi’ event here as a very “special person” whose presence at the event signals India has a true friend at the White House.

Addressing over 50,000 Indian-Americans at the NRG stadium, Modi said it was honour and privilege for him to welcome Trump in this magnificent stadium and magnificent gathering. 

“Greetings to my fellow Indians in India and around the world. Friends, this morning, we have a very special person with us,” Modi said.

“He (Trump) was a household name even before he went to hold the highest seat in the US,” Modi said while greeting the US President.

“His name is familiar to every person on the planet. His name comes up almost every conversation in the world on global politics,” he said.

“From CEO to commander-in-chief, from boardrooms to the oval office, from studios to the global stage, from politics to the economy and to security, he has left a deep and lasting impact everywhere,” Modi said.

Modi said he met Trump a few times and every time he has been warm, friendly, accessibly, energetic and full of wit.

“And I can say I had a chance to meet him often and every time I found the friendliness, the warmth and the energy,” he said.

“President this morning in Houston, you can hear the heartbeat of this great partnership in this celebration of the world’s two largest democracies,” Modi said.

“You can feel the strength and depth of the bonds between our two nations,” Modi said.

When I met him for the first time, Trump said India has a true friend in the White House.

“Your presence has a great testimony to that,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister said, “The people are at the heart of all relationships. From Houston to Hyderabad, from Boston to Bengaluru, from Chicago to Shimla, from Los Angeles to Ludhiana.”

Trump has already made the American economy strong again, Modi said.

“He has achieved much for the US and for the world,” Modi said.

“We in India have connected well to him,” he said, adding “Abki baar Trump Sarkar”.

“If you ask me ‘Howdy, Modi’ My answer is: Everything is great in India,” Modi  said, referring to the title of the programme, billed by the organisers as largest-ever turnout for a foreign elected leader on the US soil.

He then proceeded to translate the words in various Indian languages, adding at the end, “Our American friends must be amazed by what I said… All I said was — everything is fine.”

Trump announced that India will soon have access to another world-class American product – NBA basketball.

Addressing the Indian-Americans, Trump said that America is committed to ensure Indians have access to the finest goods in the world, products stamped with the beautiful phrase ‘Make in USA’.

“And very soon, India will have access to another world-class American product – NBA basketball. Wow, sounds good. Next week, thousands of people will gather in Mumbai to watch the first-ever, NBA basketball game in India,” Trump said.

“Am I invited Mr Prime Minister? I may come, be careful, I may come,” he said laughingly as Prime Minster Modi laughed.

Earlier this month, the National Basketball Association said 3,000 students from over 70 schools will be extended invitations for the first-ever NBA game in India to be played in Mumbai in October.

Modi and  Trump addressed the mega ‘Howdy, Modi’ event here, which was  organised by Indian-Americans in Texas.

This is for the first time that the leaders of the two largest democracies of the world were addressing a joint mega rally in the US.

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