Hours before the official signing of a $3 billion defence deal between India and the US, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari on Tuesday levelled a serious allegation against the BJP government in Centre. Mentioning that the deal might cost India Rs.21,639 crore, he opined that this would be beneficial for the military-industrial complex, a significant lobby in the US election.
Moreover, Tewari alleged that the lobby was a traditional backer of the Republican Party. Thereafter, the Congress leader raised questions over the source of the funding for the ‘Namaste Trump’ event held in Ahmedabad on Monday. He was referring to a news report which suggested the Union Cabinet approving a $2.6 billion purchase of 24 multi-role MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters from Lockheed Martin Corporation.
The US President is being accompanied by his daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump, son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other prominent officials. First, Donald and Melania Trump visited the Sabarmati Ashram.
Subsequently, both Trump and PM Modi addressed a massive crowd of more than one lakh people at the Motera stadium as part of the 'Namaste Trump' event. After the event, the Trump couple departed for Agra to visit the Taj Mahal.
On Tuesday, the US President will receive a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. This will be followed by a visit to Rajghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi and wide-ranging talks between the US President and PM Modi on issues such as trade and investment, defence, counter-terrorism, and energy security. In the evening, President Ram Nath Kovind will hold a banquet in the honour of Donald Trump after which the latter will depart for the US.
One of the main highlights of the US President’s visit has been the ‘Namaste Trump’ event. It was designed on the lines of 'Howdy Modi!' organised in Houston last year. During his speech, the US President announced that a defence deal worth $3 billion would be signed on Tuesday.
US President Donald Trump remarked, "Recently the US Army-Indian Armed forces conducted the first-ever joint land-air-water exercises which was something to behold and called it 'Tiger Triumph'. We make the greatest weapons including the best air defence system with armed and unarmed aerial vehicles. Tomorrow our representatives will sign a 3 billion dollars deal of Defence equipment and helicopters to the Indian Armed forces. The US should be India's premier Defence partner and will protect the Indo-Pacific regions for many generations to come."