'Howdy, Modi' event in Houston Updates: Friendship will take vibrant future to new heights, says Narendra Modi

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'Howdy, Modi' event in Houston Updates: Friendship will take vibrant future to new heights, says Narendra Modi
  • 00:10 (IST)

    'CEOs encouraged by corporate tax cut'

    "CEOs of comapines I met yesterday were very encouraged by decision to reduce corporate tax," said Narendra Modi.

    "They gave the feedback that the move will send to very positive message to not just Indian but foreign companies too. It will make India globally competitive," he added.

  • 00:04 (IST)

    Time has come to end terrorism, says Narendra Modi

    "India's actions within its boundaries causing discomfort to some people who are unable to manage their own country. These people have kept their hatred of India at center of their political agenda. They want to spread unrest and they support and nurture terrorism," the prime minister said. 

    "The whole world knows who they are. We all know where the perpetrators of 9/11 terror attacks in America and 26/11 terror attacks in India were found," he said, without naming Pakistan.

    The time has come to end terrorism, he added.

  • 23:57 (IST)

    'India bid farewell to Article 370'

    "India bid farewell to 70-year-old Article 370 which deprived the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from the benefits of development," says Narendra Modi. "It was being used by separatists and terrorists."

  • 23:52 (IST)

    'Ease of living as important as ease of doing business'


    "Ease of doing business is important to us, however ease of living is equally important. Need to empower people for this. Only then can the social and economic development of a country take place at fast pace," says PM.  

  • 23:50 (IST)

    Data is the new gold, says PM



    "Industry 4.0 is focused on data," says PM. "India offers data at lowest rate in the world. The global average price of 1GB data is 25 to 30 times that in India. Affordable data is backbone of good governance."

  • 23:41 (IST)

    Challenging mindsets, says PM

    "Today, India is challenging the mindset of some people who believe nothing can change. Now we are aiming high and we are achieving higher," says Modi. 

  • 23:39 (IST)

    Modi talks about 2019 polls


    "It is for the first time in 60 years that a majority government returned to power with a higher vote share," says Modi. "Recent elections showcased Indian democracy's greatness across world", says PM. "Six hundred million people, twice that of the US population voted," he adds.

     

  • 23:32 (IST)

    I am an ordinary man, says PM
     
     

    "This event is called 'Howdy, Modi' but I am only an ordinary man working on the direction of 1.3 billion Indians", says Narendra Modi. 

    "If you ask me Howdy Modi, I say everything is fine in India," says the prime minister.  "Diversity is unity. This diversity is the core of India's vibrant democracy", says Modi. 

    "Our various languages are an important identity of our liberal and democratic society. For centuries our nation has been moving forward with dozens of languages and hundreds of dialects," says PM.

     

  • 23:26 (IST)

    Seeing a new history and new chemistry, says Modi
     
     

    "When it comes to Texas, everything has to be huge, larger than life," says Modi. "Today the spirit of Texas is reflected here. The large crowd over here is not only an arithmetic entity but is a creator of a new history and chemistry."  

    "This NRG's energy is a proof of increasing synergy between India and US," he adds.

     

  • 23:20 (IST)

    Trump says border security vital
     
     
    "I look forward to work with Modi to make our nations more prosperous than ever before", Trump says as he praises role of Indian Americans.
     
    "Border security is vital to both US and India", Trump adds. "Committed to protecting innocent civilians from threat of radical Islamist terror," says Trump.
     
    "Very soon several defence deals would be signed between India and US to bolster our security relationship. "I look forward to work with Modi to make our nations more prosperous than ever before," Trump says as he praises role of Indian Americans

  • 23:08 (IST)

    Trump lauds Modi's pro-growth policies
     
     

    "India has lifted nearly 300 million people out of poverty," Trump says, lauding Modi for his welfare schemes in the short span of time in office.  "Our people are progressing like never before," Trump says.  

    Trump says relations between India and America are stronger than ever. Trump adds that India has never had a better friend in the White House

  • 22:58 (IST)

    Modi doing exceptional job for India, says Trump

    "Hello, Houston, thrilled to be here in the great state of Texas with a great friend Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India", says Donald Trump. "He is doing a truly exceptional job for India and all of the Indian people. It is my privilege to be here at this profoundly historic event," he adds.

    Trump also wished him for his success in the Lok Sabha elections in which "600 million indian voted overwhelmingly for prime minister and his party." "I join everyone here wishing you happy birthday," he says. 

  • 22:52 (IST)

    PM praises US president

    "Sharing the stage with a very special person", says Narendra Modi. "He has left a deep and lasting impact everywhere.This is extraordinary, this is unprecedented. We have met a few times and every time, he has been the same, warm, friendly, accessible, energetic and full of wit", he adds.

    "I admire him for something more: A sense of leadership, passion for America, a concern for every American, a belief in American future and a strong resolve to make America great again," Modi adds.

    "He has already made the American economy strong again. He has achieved much for the United States and for the world. Friends, we in India, have connected well with president Trump. The words of candidate Trump 'aab ki baar Trump sarkaar.' The celebrations of Diwali lit up millions of lives", Modi finishes.

  • 22:43 (IST)

    Trump, Modi share stage to huge applause

    Loud ovation from a packed stadium as Narendra Modi and Donald Trump walk to the stage at the 'Howdy, Modi' event in Houston.  

  • 22:35 (IST)

    Donald Trump arrives


    US president Donald Trump has arrived at the Howdy Modi event at NRG stadium in Houston. He was received by External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Trump was scheduled to arrive at 9:20 pm (IST). However, he  made a surprise to the coast guard to get briefing about the flood situation in Houston, which claimed five lives.

  • 22:32 (IST)

    Trump administration on cusp of announcing India deal: NYT

    The Trump administration is on the cusp of announcing a new trade deal with India, potentially within the next week as President Donald Trump prepares to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. It should be a proud moment for Trump, who is eager to announce new markets for US farmers and manufacturers who have been badly hit by his trade war with China. But unlike traditional trade pacts, which cover nearly all sectors of the economy, the India deal appears likely to be confined to only a few sectors and products.

    Read the full story here

  • 22:24 (IST)

    Man dressed like Mahatma Gandhi welcomes Narendra Modi

  • 22:15 (IST)

    'Texas-sized crowd' says Raveesh Kumar

  • 22:10 (IST)

    House leader Steny Hoyer quotes Gandhiji

    US Democrat Steny Hoyer addressing the Howdy Modi event welcomed the prime minister and said both Indians and Americans have the same purpose, growing the partnership between India and the US as he quoted Mahatma Gandhi and former Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

    Saying that human rights are essential, he said there should not be any malice towards anyone and the work would not get over till there are tears in even a single person’s eyes.

    “Democracy is something that gives the weak the same chance as the strong," he said, quoting Gandhiji.

  • 21:56 (IST)

    Narendra Modi thanks Houston

  • 21:44 (IST)

    India and US trade keeps getting stronger each day, says Texas Senator John Cornyn

    Everything is bigger in Texas and this is a Texas-sized welcome for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Texas is 2nd largest trading partner with India after California, but  we are catching up, says Coryn.

    Texas keeps fuelling India and the relationship keeps getting stronger day by day by day, he said. 

    "India and US trade keeps getting stronger each day. Indian culture is woven in the fabric of our state and we are proud to celebrate this cultural relation with PM Modi," he said.

  • 21:42 (IST)

    Senator Ted Cruz welcomes Narendra Modi

     

    US Senator Ted Cruz addresses the massive gathering at the NRG stadium in Houston and welcomes Narendra Modi. He hopes for stronger ties between USA, particularly Houston, and India.

  • 21:33 (IST)

    Narendra Modi arrives at NRG stadium in Houston

  • 21:26 (IST)

    Look forward to being with our great India loving community, tweets Donald Trump

  • 21:16 (IST)

    Won't be surprised by announcement today: Texas Senator

     "I won't be surprised if there is some announcement by President Donald Trump today, hopefully we will be able to sort out the trade differences," ANI reported Texas Senator John Cornyn as saying.

  • 21:09 (IST)

    Rishi Kapoor lauds PM

  • 21:02 (IST)

    It surely will be a great day, Narendra Modi replies to Donald Trump

  • 20:51 (IST)

    What does 'Howdy' mean?

    Howdy means 'how do you do?'. It is used, often informally and in a humorous manner, as a form of greeting in southern states in America.

  • 20:47 (IST)

    Bhangra artists perform

  • 20:44 (IST)

    27 cultural groups to perform before Narendra Modi's address

    The cultural programme preceding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address, showcasing Indian-American artists from Texas and elsewhere, will portray how the community is woven into the larger tapestry of American life. It will involve broad-based community participation across the United States.  The 90-minute music, dance, and multimedia show features close to 400 artists and community members from Texas and across the nation. There are 27 groups performing in a live and multimedia experience that will showcase the diversity in the Indian-American community.

  • 20:30 (IST)

    Cultural programme on, Texas Mayor's speech to follow

  • 20:24 (IST)

    Will be in Houston with my friend, tweets Donald Trump

  • 20:20 (IST)

    Fun Facts about the NRG Stadium in Houston: First NFL facility with retractable roof

    NRG Stadium is a total of 1.9 million square feet — the synthetic turf field itself is 97,205 square feet or 2.23 acres.

    The stadium was the first facility in the NFL to have a retractable roof. The size of the retractable roof opening is 500′ x 385′ and it takes 7 minutes to open.

    There are a total of 197 suites inside the stadium. Seating capacity at NRG Stadium is 72,220 for sporting events and 80,000 for concerts.

  • 20:16 (IST)

    Watch: Dancers perform at 'Howdy,Modi' event in Houston

  • 19:31 (IST)

    Watch: Drums being played outside NRG Stadium, Houston

  • 19:09 (IST)

    Schedule of 'Howdy,Modi' event, as per News18

    - 9:20 pm: President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will walk to the stage
    - 9:20-9:30 pm: Houston Mayor will welcome Modi and Trump
    - 9.39 -10:09 pm: Trump to speak
    - 10:15 pm onwards: Modi to begin speaking

  • 18:57 (IST)

    Donald Trump heads to Houston

  • 18:56 (IST)

    Donald Trump seeks to polish image, banks on Indian-Americans

    With Donald Trump's popularity hovering in the high 30s and the low 40s in most polls, and with House Democrats stepping up their impeachment inquiry, the US president is keen to seize any opportunity to polish his profile, writes Deven Kanal.

    "That Trump is according Narendra Modi importance makes sense given his Indian counterpart's undiminished popularity both at home and with expats," says the report.

    Read the full report here

  • 18:47 (IST)

    When and where to watch 'Howdy, Modi!' event

    The Howdy Modi event — with the tagline “Shared Dreams, Bright Futures" — will begin at 10 am local time and 8.30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST) and is scheduled to end at 1 pm (local time) or 11.30 pm (IST).

    The event will be live-streamed on Modi's official YouTube channel. Viewers can also follow the event on Modi's Twitter account and the PMO India Twitter handle. Public broadcaster Doordarshan News will also telecast the event on its Hindi and English channels. Viewers can also follow the Press Information Bureau's website and social media handles.

  • 18:12 (IST)

    Trade talks between Narendra Modi, Donald Trump will favour US, weaken rupee, says Akhilesh Yadav

    Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday said that the outcome of the trade talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump will be skewed to benefit the US and will weaken the rupee against the dollar, reports ANI.

    Alleging that the 'Howdy, Modi!' event was being over-hyped, Yadav claimed that the prospective trade deal would affect Indian exports to the US and weaken the rupee. 

    "It has been heard that the deal is going to include a proposal which will translate to imports of food items, electronics, etc. from the US. Our exports to the US will thus suffer and rupee will be further weakened against the dollar," he added.
     

    Yadav further said that the US is wooing India because of its ongoing trade war with China.
     

  • 17:34 (IST)

    Narendra Modi's personal touch to diplomacy translates into political capital for India

    The fulcrum of this unprecedented event where Narendra Modi and top US leadership will be in joint attendance at the NRG Stadium in Houston — dispelling Pakistan’s threats and efforts — lies in the personal popularity that Modi has been able to amass in the years that he has been in the Prime Minister’s Office, writes Sreemoy Talukdar.

    Read full report here

  • 17:14 (IST)

    Excited to see Narendra Modi, say Indian-Americans outside NRG Stadium in Houston

  • 16:57 (IST)

    Meeting with energy CEOs most important part of Narendra Modi's US visit

    Even as all eyes are on the 'Howdy, Modi' show in Houston, Texas, on Sunday the first meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is actually the most important of the visit, both in terms of the Indian economy and in adding some solid bolstering to the India-US relationship, writes Tara Kartha.

    "In today’s diplomacy, as Foreign Minister S Jaishankar notes, relations are determined by interests, not historical reminiscences," says the report.

    Read full report here

  • 16:33 (IST)

    Imran Khan reaches US, likely to raise Kashmir at UNGA

    Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan reached the US on Saturday on a "special aircraft" of Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman.

    "Prime Minister Imran Khan has reached the US. The seven-day visit is aimed at drawing the attention of the world towards what is happening in Kashmir," ANI quoted Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as saying.

    Before arriving in the US, Khan was on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia to muster support from the Islamic nation on the Kashmir issue. 
     

    The cricketer-turned-politician is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly on 27 September, where he is expected to raise the Kashmir issue.

  • 16:00 (IST)

    Help Sindh attain freedom from Pakistan: Activists urge Narendra Modi 

    Members of the Sindhi community have gathered in Houston ahead of the 'Howdy, Modi!' event to draw Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attention towards their cause of gaining freedom from Pakistan. Alleging that the rights of the Sindhi community were being violated by the Pakistan Army, Sindhi activist Zafar requested the prime minister to help the Sindh province attain freedom from Pakistan, reports ANI.

    "Sindhi people have come here in Houston with a message. When Modi ji passes through here in the morning, we'll be standing here with placards carrying the message that we want freedom from Pakistan. We hope Modi ji and President Trump help us," said Zafar. "We want the Prime Minister to help Sindh attain independence from Pakistan like how Bangladesh was Liberated in 1971," he added.

  • 15:40 (IST)

    Modi picks up flower fallen off a bouquet in Houston, video goes viral

    A video showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi picking up a flower that fell off a bouquet went viral on Sunday. Netizens showered the prime minister with praises.The bouquet was presented to Modi at the George Bush Intercontinental airport.

    On his arrival on Saturday for the ‘Howdy, Modi’ community event, the prime minister was presented with a bouquet of flowers by an American dignitary, receiving him along with US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster, Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla and other senior officials. A flower fell off the bouquet and to everyone's surprise, PM Modi bent down and picked it up himself, winning praise on social media. 

  • 15:00 (IST)

    PM deserves respect when he is visiting foreign countries: Shashi Tharoor

    Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who landed in a controversy recently for "praising" Narendra Modi, said the prime minister deserves respect when he visits foreign countries as he represents India on the global platform.


    "The prime minister deserves respect in foreign countries as (there) he is a representative of our nation. But when he is in India, we have the right to ask him questions," Tharoor was quoted as saying during an event organised by the All India Professional Congress in Pune.

    Quoting a media report that spoke about protests planned in the US ahead of Modi's Houston visit, Tharoor had tweeted, “As an Opposition MP i have the right to criticise @narendramodi ’s policies, statements, actions & inaction, & expose his failures. But when he goes abroad, he is @PMOIndia & he carries my flag. I want him to be received & treated w/ the respect due to my country’s prime minister.”

  • 14:39 (IST)

    'Howdy, Modi' event to 'build bridges' between American and Indian dreams: Organisers

    Jugal Malani, the chairperson of the 'Howdy, Modi!' event in Houston said that it was an opportunity to bridge the gap between Americans and Indians worldover.

    He said, "There is unprecedented synergy between our region and the aspirations of a 'New India' that Prime Minister Narendra Modi represents. The American dream shares many similarities with emerging Indian dream, and an event of this scale suggests an opportunity to build bridges across two great democracies," in a statement.

  • 14:01 (IST)

    Trump to address the Indian Diaspora at 9.30 pm (IST) on Sunday: White House

    US President Donald Trump will address the Indian Diaspora at the "Howdy Modi: Shared Dreams, Bright Futures" event at 9:30 pm (IST) in Houston on Sunday, the White House has confirmed.

    The roughly three-hour-long event, which is being organised at the sprawling NRG Football Stadium, will highlight the contributions of Indian-Americans in enriching the American life for the last seven decades as well as the key role they have played in strengthening relations between the two nations. The event is a reflection of the deep and special relationship between India and the US, one that has often been described as the 'defining partnership' of the 21 century, the White House statement further added. 

  • 13:50 (IST)

    Petronet to import 5 million tonnes a year of LNG from Tellurian

    Petronet LNG Ltd, India's biggest liquefied natural gas importer, has signed a preliminary deal to buy a stake in Tellurian Inc's proposed Driftwood project in Louisiana and import 5 million tonnes a year of LNG. The deal is worth about $2.5 billion, sources privy to the development told PTI.

    "Tellurian Inc. and Petronet LNG Ltd announced (September 21) that the two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) wherein Petronet and its affiliates intend to negotiate the purchase of up to five million tonnes per annum (5 mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Driftwood, concurrent with its equity investment, which remains subject to further due diligence and approval of its board of directors," the US firm said in a statement.

    Tellurian and Petronet will endeavour to finalise the transaction agreements by March 31 2020, it said. The firm's President and CEO Meg Gentle told PTI, "Petronet, India's largest LNG importer, will be able to deliver clean, low-cost, and reliable natural gas to India from Driftwood."

'Howdy, Modi' event in Houston Updates:  "President (Donald) Trump,  I want you to come to India, with your family. Our friendship will take our shared dreams and our vibrant future to new heights," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

"India bid farewell to 70-year-old Article 370 which deprived the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from the benefits of development," says Narendra Modi. "It was being used by separatists and terrorists."

"Ease of doing business is important to us, however ease of living is equally important. Need to empower people for this. Only then can the social and economic development of a country take place at fast pace," says PM.

"Today, India is challenging the mindset of some people who believe nothing can change. Now we are aiming high and we are achieving higher," says Modi.

"If you ask me Howdy Modi, I say everything is fine in India," says the prime minister.  "Diversity is unity. This diversity is the core of India's vibrant democracy", says Modi.

When it comes to Texas, everything has to be huge, larger than life," says Modi. "Today the spirit of Texas is reflected here. The large crowd over here is not only an arithmetic entity but is a creator of a new history and chemistry."

"This NRG's energy is a proof of increasing synergy between India and US," he adds.

 "Border security is vital to both US and India", Trump adds. "Committed to protecting innocent civilians from threat of radical Islamist terror," says Trump.

"India has lifted nearly 300 million people out of poverty," Trump says, lauding Modi for his welfare schemes in the short span of time in office.  "Our people are progressing like never before," Trump says.  Trump says relations between India and America are stronger than ever. Trump adds that India has never had a better friend in the White House

Hello, Houston, thrilled to be here in the great state of Texas with a great friend Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, says Donald Trump. He is doing a truly exceptional job for India and all of the Indian people. It is my privilege to be here at this profoundly historic event, he adds.

Sharing the stage with a very special person, says Narendra Modi. He has left a deep and lasting impact everywhere.This is extraordinary, this is unprecedented. We have met a few times and every time, he has been the same, warm, friendly, accessible, energetic and full of wit. I admire him for something more: A sense of leadership, passion for America, a concern for every American, a belief in American future and a strong resolve to make America great again. He has already made the American economy strong again. He has achieved much for the United States and for the world. Friends, we in India, have connected well with president Trump. The words of candidate Trump 'aab ki baar Trump sarkaar.' The celebrations of Diwali lit up millions of lives.

Loud ovation from a packed stadium as Narendra Modi and Donald Trump walk to the stage at the 'Howdy, Modi' event in Houston.

US president Donald Trump has arrived at the Howdy Modi event at NRG stadium in Houston.

The Trump administration is on the cusp of announcing a new trade deal with India, reports the New York Times.

Democratic leader Steny Hoyer quotes Gandhiji, says "democracy is something that gives the weak the same chance as the strong."

Texas Senator John Cornyn says everything is bigger in Texas and this is a Texas-sized welcome for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Texas is 2nd largest trading partner with India after California, but  we are catching up, says Coryn. Texas keeps fuelling India and the relationship keeps getting stronger day by day by day. India and US trade keeps getting stronger each day. Indian culture is woven in the fabric of our state and we are proud to celebrate this cultural relation with PM Modi.

US Senator Ted Cruz addresses the massive gathering at the NRG stadium in Houston and welcomes PM Modi. He hopes for stronger ties between USA, particularly Houston, and India.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz welcomes Narendra Modi, says 'America proud to be your friend'

Look forward to being with our great India loving community, tweets Donald Trump

"I won't be surprised if there is some announcement by President Donald Trump today, hopefully we will be able to sort out the trade differences," ANI reported Texas Senator John Cornyn as saying.

It surely will be a great day, Narendra Modi says in reply to Donald Trump's tweet.

The 90-minute music, dance, and multimedia show preceding Narendra Modi's address at the 'Howdy, Modi!' event in Houston features close to 400 artists and community members from Texas and across the nation. There are 27 groups performing in a live and multimedia experience that will showcase the diversity in the Indian-American community, reports PTI.

President Donald Trump in a tweet shared minutes ago said that he will be in Texas. He also said that it is going to be a great day in Texas.

According to the schedule of the 'Howdy, Modi!' event released by News18, Donald Trump will begin his speech at 9.40 pm while Narendra Modi will address the attendees from 10.15 pm.

US president has boarded Air Force One for Houston, Texas, reports ANI.

With the 'Howdy, Modi' event slated to start at 8.30 pm IST (10 am local time), people have started gathering outside the NRG stadium in Houston, reports ANI.

''We are excited to see Modi, expect to hear from him, and get words of wisdom from him because he is an inspiration for the country and people around the globe," they said.

Members of the Sindhi community have gathered in Houston ahead of the 'Howdy, Modi!' event to draw Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attention towards their cause of gaining freedom from Pakistan. Alleging that the rights of the Sindhi community were being violated by the Pakistan Army, Sindhi activist Zafar requested the prime minister to help the Sindh province attain freedom from Pakistan, reports ANI.

US President Donald Trump will address the Indian Diaspora at the "Howdy Modi: Shared Dreams, Bright Futures" event at 9:30 pm (IST) in Houston on Sunday, the White House has confirmed. Trump is expected to deliver a major and a 30-minute speech on India and the Indian diaspora at the "Howdy, Modi!" event in Houston on Sunday, which US officials asserted would bring fresh energy in the long-lasting relationship between the two democracies. Reportedly, Trump, who as a Republican presidential candidate in 2016 promised to be India's best friend, is flying to Houston especially for the event.

Petronet LNG Ltd, India's biggest liquefied natural gas importer, has signed a preliminary deal to buy a stake in Tellurian Inc's proposed Driftwood project in Louisiana and import 5 million tonnes a year of LNG.

The deal is worth about $2.5 billion, sources privy to the development said. "Tellurian Inc. and Petronet LNG Ltd announced (September 21) that the two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) wherein Petronet and its affiliates intend to negotiate the purchase of up to five million tonnes per annum (5 mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Driftwood, concurrent with its equity investment, which remains subject to further due diligence and approval of its board of directors," the US firm said in a statement.

Trump joining Modi on stage in Houston 'is a very clear indication of where the Trump administration stands when it comes to Pakistan', Shalabh Kumar from the Republican Hindu Coalition told PTI. Stating that Pakistan was planning to hold a protest against Modi in front of the NRG stadium on the Kashmir issue, Kumar claimed that it had been quashed to a great extent.

The event "shows the personal chemistry and friendship" between Modi and Trump and "sets a bold precedent which is unconventional and unique," Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the Indian ambassador to the United States, told AFP. A delegation of the Kashmiri Pandit community met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Houston, and "unequivocally supported" the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and it being made part of the rest of the country.

Surinder Kaul, representing the Kashmiri Pandit community said, "PM told us you've suffered a lot. Together we have to build a new Kashmir. Our youth presented him the messages that the community had prepared for him. I presented a memorandum on behalf of the community. He gladly accepted it."

Almost twelve hours ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the Indian diaspora in Houston's NRG Football Stadium, where Beyonce and Taylor Swift have performed and Super Bowls have been held in the past, is abuzz with activity, several publications reported. The event at the NRG Football Stadium, one of the largest in the US, has been organised by the Texas India Forum (TIF), a non-profit organisation.

Donald Trump and Modi both rose to power on nationalist appeals to majority communities in their nations. Both scoff at traditional media and enjoy making pronouncements by Twitter. And the two leaders will bond over the Sunday extravaganza as they visibly symbolise their alliance.

"Some 50,0000 attendees from Indian American communities, and people from the 48 states are attending. It is going to be a historical event, the largest such event held for a democratically elected head of state. No such programme has been held earlier in the past. Senators, Congressmen, mayors and the US President Donald Trump are going to attend," TIF spokesperson Gitesh Desai was quoted as saying. According to reports, the "Howdy, Modi" event at the sprawling NRG Stadium is the largest gathering ever for an elected foreign leader visiting the US, other than the Pope.

"Howdy Houston! 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," Modi tweeted soon after he landed at the George Bush International Airport on Saturday.

 Howdy, Modi event in Houston Updates: Friendship will take vibrant future to new heights, says Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Houston on Saturday. Image: MEA/Twitter

The Prime Minister was received by director of the Trade and International Affairs Christopher Olson, US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster, Indian envoy to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla, and other officials on his arrival at the airport to a red carpet welcome. This is the third time that Modi is addressing the Indian diaspora in the US after the event at Madison Square Garden in 2014 and San Jose in 2015, but this time, the scale is larger than the past two events, the organisers have claimed.

"Over the next 24 hours, PM will meet with the industry captains in energy sector & address the Indian American community and their elected representatives at #HowdyModi event, together with @realDonaldTrump," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. While Modi's Wembley address in London in November 2015 had a larger audience, this is the largest gathering of people in the US for a foreign leader, after the Pope, reports noted.

The event "shows the personal chemistry and friendship" between Modi and Trump and "sets a bold precedent which is unconventional and unique," Harsh Vardhan Shringla, the Indian ambassador to the United States, told AFP. Modi, who cruised to a new mandate in elections this year, is fond of mass gatherings on his travels overseas as he seeks to demonstrate his appeal. While no less fond of the limelight, Trump's presence is more unusual.

US presidents rarely join other countries' leaders before diaspora events, and Trump — with a hard line on immigration one of his signature issues — is hardly known for celebrating ethnic diversity.

But with US elections due in 14 months Trump's presence may help soften his image in Houston, one of the most multiethnic US cities and ground zero in the rival Democratic Party's recent gains in the state of Texas, a must-win bastion of his Republican Party.

The four-million-strong Indian-American community also forms an enticing pool of voters. With an average household income of $100,000, Indian-Americans are among the most prosperous US groups.

They are also among the most solidly Democratic. Despite high-profile Indian-American Republicans such as Nikki Haley, Trump's first ambassador to the United Nations, more than 80 percent voted in 2016 for Democrat Hillary Clinton — more than almost any other group other than African-Americans.

Organisers are trying to keep the event non-partisan and have also invited Steny Hoyer, the number-two Democrat in the House of Representatives.

Only accredited volunteers are allowed entry as Houston police watch over one of the biggest sporting venues in the US, The Indian Express reported.  Modi and Trump will address the audience around 10.30 am local time (9 pm IST) on Sunday. Earlier, the plan was to have the address around noon, reports said, which would have been late for the audience in India. Before the public address by the two leaders, there will be a 90-minute cultural event.

Houston gears up for Modi

The Indian American community has been busy preparing for the three-hour show that will see artistes present Indian classical and folk songs and dances, among other numbers. More than a 1,000 Gujaratis from Houston are preparing for a mega 'dandiya', a traditional Gujarati dance, to welcome the prime minister for the event.

Narendra Modi will meet with the industry captains in energy sector & address the Indian American community and their elected representatives. Image: MEA/Twitter

Narendra Modi will meet with the industry captains in energy sector & address the Indian American community and their elected representatives. Image: MEA/Twitter

Several cultural programmes are on the anvil for the show, which has a theme "Woven", signifying how the Indian American community has become part of America, Desai told IANS.  He said more than 100 buses are being provided to ferry the participants.

Massive billboards have come up near the NRG Stadium and across Houston with messages of welcome for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A car rally was also organised in Houston on Friday, ahead of the 'Howdy-Modi' event. Ahead of Modi's arrival on Saturday, the heavy rains in Houston, brought about by Tropical Depression Imelda, have abated. The rains had caused massive flooding across Houston and there were fears it might take off the sheen from the event. Imelda left four people dead.

Texas accounts for 10 percent of India-US trade, about $7 billion worth of US goods and commodities are moved between Texas and India.

Modi meets CEOs from energy sector in Houston

Modi had a "fruitful" meeting with CEOs from the energy sector on the first day of his week-long US visit in Houston on Saturday. CEOs of 17 global energy companies participated in the round table meeting. The combined net worth of companies is $1 trillion with a presence in 150 countries. All companies have some engagement, presence with or in India, ANI reported.

Objective of the meeting was to deepen the energy cooperation of the two sides as part of the strategic energy partnership, the sources added. The CEOs talked about enhancing their footprint in India. They lauded government’s efforts towards ease of doing business, deregulation in the sector, supported reforms and policies and were upbeat on the Indian economy, said sources.

PM meets Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs, Dawoodi Bohras in Houston

A delegation of the Kashmiri Pandit community met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Houston, and "unequivocally supported" the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and it being made part of the rest of the country.

 

PM with top energy sector CEOs at a Roundtable meeting in Houston. Image: MEA/Twitter

PM with top energy sector CEOs at a Roundtable meeting in Houston. Image: MEA/Twitter

He also met a delegation of Sikhs and members of the Dawoodi Bohra community. Members of the Dawoodi Bohra community also met the PM and felicitated him by draping a traditional 'angvastram' around his shoulders.

In another tweet, the PMO said:

Modi also met members of the Sikh community who cheered him and placed an orange 'angvastram' around his shoulders in a mark of felicitation.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 23, 2019 00:35:28 IST