Preparations are in full swing to greet US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump on their first-ever India visit on 24-25 February. Trump expressed his excitement over the visit on Wednesday (19 Feb) on being promised a welcome by 7 million people from the airport to the venue of a public reception in Gujarat.
Contrary to claims by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he would welcome US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump during their visit to Ahmedabad with several million people lined up along their route. Municipal Commissioner of the city Vijay Nehra said nearly 100,000 people are expected to show up along the 22-kilometre route from the airport to the Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium in Motera, reported national news agency PTI on Thursday.
On Wednesday (19 Feb), President Trump told reporters, “Narendra Modi says between the stadium and the airport, we’ll have about 7 million people. So it’s going to be very exciting. I hope you all enjoy it".
The claim by Modi, who was the head of Gujarat for 12 years, appeared to be a bit of a stretch, as the total population of Ahmedabad is estimated to only be between 6 million to 6.5 million.
Twitterians have already started mock Prime Minister Modi, with memes and jokes for promising President Trump such an unrealistic crowd..
The biggest challenge for Ahmedabad police to organise the event on 25 February will be to manage the crowd. From the airport both leaders will travel by road to the Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium, where they will open the world's largest cricket stadium, with a seating capacity of 110,000.
The planned welcome for Trump on 24 February is expected to be much grander than Modi's public event in Texas in September 2019. The reception in Ahmedabad has been named "Namasthe Trump" or welcome Trump.
Later that day, he will travel to New Delhi, where he will hold talks with Modi. On Tuesday morning, Trump will first receive a ceremonial welcome at the president’s palace and Melania Trump will pay a visit to government schools in the national capital.