Donald Trump arrives in Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad: US President Donald Trump arrived in Ahmedabad today for the first leg of his India trip.A press note said that the Air Force One plane carrying Trump and his wife Melania landed at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel international airport here at 11.37 am.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reached Ahmedabad over an hour before Trump did, was present at the airport to welcome the US president at the airport.

In Ahmedabad, Trump will visit Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram, take part in a roadshow with Modi and jointly address over one lakh people at a cricket stadium, before heading for Agra to see the iconic Taj Mahal with 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 melange during his high-optics Gujarat itinerary, after the bonhomie between the two leaders at the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event in Houston last year.

The US president and Modi will participate in a roadshow from the airport to Sabarmti Ashram and from there to the newly-built Motera cricket stadium, where over a lakh people are expected to be present for the ‘Namaste Trump’ event.Dance groups and singers from different parts of the country will be performing on stages that are dotting the 22km route of the ‘India roadshow’ in the city.

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.Trump on Sunday retweeted a video in which his face was superimposed on the hit Indian movie-character Bahubali, showing him as a great saviour.

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. Modi will accompany Trump to the Sabarmati Ashram, which was home to Mahatma Gandhi from 1917-1930 during India’s freedom struggle.

“Trump will visit the ‘Hriday Kunj’. If he wishes, he will spin a charkha (spinning wheel). We will also gift him a coffee-table book, and a book containing 150 quotations of Gandhi,” the Ashram official said.

There will be a cultural extravaganza at the Motera stadium during the ‘Namaste Trump’ event, where Trump and Modi will address the gathering.