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

'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.

FP Staff September 22, 2019 00:22:10 IST
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'Howdy, Modi' event in Houston Updates: Friendship will take vibrant future to new heights, says Narendra Modi
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday arrived in the US for his week-long tour, which will feature a grand event "Howdy, Modi" in Houston, Texas

  • US President Donald Trump will share the stage with PM Modi at the massive gathering of Indian-Americans at a football stadium with a seating capacity of over 50,000

  • 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

Highlights

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Sept 23, 2019 - 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.

Sept 23, 2019 - 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.

Sept 22, 2019 - 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."

Sept 22, 2019 - 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.  

Sept 22, 2019 - 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."

Sept 22, 2019 - 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. 

Sept 22, 2019 - 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.

 

Sept 22, 2019 - 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.

 

Sept 22, 2019 - 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.

 

Sept 22, 2019 - 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

'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.

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

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.

 

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

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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