India will roll out the red carpet for US President Donald Trump for his February 24-25 visit. Part of India's charm offensive after recent irritants like trade, Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would participate in a grand roadshow in Ahmedabad and also tour the Sabarmati Ashram and inaugurate newly-built Motera cricket stadium, sources told PTI on Wednesday. The US President is likely to visit Ahmedabad on February 24.
Sources have also informed that the grand roadshow, planned along a 10-km decked-up stretch from the Ahmedabad airport to the Sabarmati Ashram, will have both President Trump and PM Modi leading the crowd in the latter's home state Gujarat. The US President would then visit the Sabarmati Ashram, which served as an epicentre of the country's freedom struggle during Mahatma Gandhi's stay there.
Also on the cards in the inauguration of the newly- constructed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad's Motera area and address a gathering, likely to be attended by over one lakh people, the sources said. The mega event at the stadium will be similar to the "Howdy, Modi!" event held in the US last year, they said. In September last year, the two leaders shared the stage at the gala event in Houston, Texas and addressed a record crowd of 50,000 Indian-Americans.
In anticipation of such an event, locals have dubbed the visit of the US President at the Sardar Patel Stadium as "Kem Chho, Trump!" (Howdy Trump) event, the sources said. The stadium at Motera has a seating capacity of 1.10 lakh, higher than the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, an official earlier said.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has issued an order assigning duties to its officers for the roadshow preparations, the sources said. The civic officials have been asked to arrange transportation and parking for those invited for the Motera stadium inauguration, they said.
Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu were accorded a grand welcome in Ahmedabad during their visits between 2014 and 2018. The three leaders had also visited the Sabarmati Ashram with PM Modi and paid respects to Mahatma Gandhi. In view of Donald Trump's upcoming visit to Ahmedabad, the Gujarat government on Tuesday rescheduled tabling of the state budget in the Assembly to February 26.
(With PTI inputs)