The stage is set for the mega diaspora event ‘Howdy Modi!’ in Houston, US as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address around 50,000 Indian-American later today. US President Donald Trump is expected to deliver a 30-minute speech at the event.
“Howdy Houston”, the Prime Minister tweeted soon after landing in the ‘World’s Energy Capital’ in the afternoon. “It’s a bright afternoon here in Houston,” he added. “Looking forward to a wide range of programmes in this dynamic and energetic city today and tomorrow.”
It’s a bright afternoon here in Houston.
Looking forward to a wide range of programmes in this dynamic and energetic city today and tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/JxzWtuaK5x
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 21, 2019
Modi was received at the airport by India’s Ambassador to the US, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, and his American counterpart Ken Juster. Both at the airport and at the hotel entrance, Modi was greeted by groups of Indian Americans with flags of India and the United States.
Soon after his arrival in Houston, #HowdyModi started trending on social media. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is also a Democratic presidential aspirant, greeted the Prime Minister on Twitter.
“Indian PM Narendra Modi has just arrived in Houston. And we cannot wait to say hello. Are you ready Houston?” she said on the microblogging website. “We are already here to welcome our Beloved PM,” said Rikin Talati.
News agency PTI reported that Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is flying to Houston only to attend the ‘Howdy Modi!’ event. He will spend about 100 minutes at the NRG Stadium, the venue for the event, according to a schedule released by the White House late Saturday night.
The President is likely to address the attendees for around 30 minutes, though the exact length of his speech is not confirmed. Trump is also likely to be president during Modi’s address at the NRG Stadium.
The ‘Howdy Modi!’ event is likely to be attended by over 50,000 Indian-Americans from across the country. It will be the largest-ever gathering of the community in the US.
“By coming to Houston and attending the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event, he (Trump) has won the hearts of Indian-Americans. He will earn more votes from Indian Americans in the 2020 presidential elections,” eminent Indian-American community leader from Indiana, Bharat Barai, told PTI in an interview.
“Leaders of the two largest democracies in the world addressing more than 50,000 people from one platform is historic. This will further cement India-US relationship,” he added.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham had said last week that it will be a great opportunity for to emphasise the strong ties between the people of the countries and to discuss ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship.
The US president is scheduled to meeting Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday (September 23) and hold formal bilateral talks with Modi a day later in New York.
(With inputs from agencies)