Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Donald Trump addressed over 50,000 Indian-Americans at the “Howdy Modi” event in Houston on Sunday. Modi is in the United States since Saturday on a week-long visit.
Both leaders said in their speeches that the relationship between the two countries had never been better. Trump praised Modi’s leadership of India, and talked about the opportunities for the countries to deepen their trade relations.
Modi insisted that everything in India is fine, repeating the statement in multiple Indian languages to drive home the idea. With portions of the Kashmir Valley still under a lockdown, Modi said the revocation of the region’s special status was a great achievement that would give more rights to the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
In a significant statement ahead of the election year for the US president, Modi said, “Ab ki baar, Trump Sarkar [this time, Trump’s government]”. Before winding up, Modi asked the audience to give a standing ovation to the US president for supporting India in its stance against terror, and made remarks clearly aimed at Pakistan.
Later on his trip, Modi will speak at the United Nations General Assembly session, where questions about his government’s recent actions in Kashmir are expected to come up.
All timestamps are IST.
12.11 am: Modi winds up with more praise for Donald Trump, and the hope that both countries will move forward together.
12.05 am, September 23: Modi asks the audience to give a standing ovation to Trump for his support in fighting terror.
11.55 pm: Even as portions of the Kashmir Valley remain under lockdown, Modi says that getting rid of Article 370 will give the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh the rights promised to all Indians under the Constitution.
11.45 pm: With his government under fire for pushing Hindi in India, Modi chooses to say “Everything is fine” in a number of different languages to demonstrate India’s diversity in Houston.
11.30 pm: Modi says, “If you ask the question ‘Howdy Modi’, the answer is ‘Everything [in India] is fine’.”
11.25 pm: Modi says: “I’m seeing history being made, and a new chemistry also.”
11.20 pm: Trump says India will have access to NBA basketball soon. “Am I invited, Mr Prime Minister?” he asks.
11.01 pm: US President Donald Trump, introduced as “my friend” by Prime Minister Modi, starts his address by praising the Indian-American population.
10.30 pm: US President Donald Trump arrives at the venue in Houston.
10.05 pm: A tweet from Modi’s office:
9.55 pm: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner presents the Key to the City to Narendra Modi, according to Texas India Forum.
9.45 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives on stage at NRG stadium in Houston.
9.43 pm: Junior Senator for Texas Ted Cruz thanks the the Indian-American community in USA for their contributions, reports ANI.
9.35 pm: United States Congressional delegation takes the stage.
9.29 pm: PM Narendra Modi arrives at NRG stadium in Houston, according to ANI.
9.28 pm: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is addressing the crowd, says Texas India Forum.
9.11 pm: Texas Senator John Cornyn hopes the trade differences will be ironed out, reports ANI.
8.57 pm: Modi says he is looking forward to meet Donald Trump.
8.45 pm: 27 cultural groups to perform before Modi’s address, reports The Indian Express.
8.37 pm: People protest outside the NRG Stadium in Houston against former Indian Police Service officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s conviction in a 30-year-old custodial death case and lynchings in India.
8.23 pm: People wait at the stadium.
8.18 pm: Donald Trump tweets that he will be with his friend in Houston.
8.12 pm: Kirtan singers of the Guru Nanak Society of Greater Cincinnati perform as event begins.
7.53 pm: Texas Senator John Cornyn arrives at NRG stadium.
7.08 pm: The event is set to begin in a few hours. You can watch it live on the “Howdy, Modi!” YouTube channel here.
7.05 pm: US President Donald Trump gets onto a plane for Houston, where he will attend the Howdy Modi rally, ANI reports.
7.02 pm: India’s largest liquified natural gas importer Petronet will invest $2.5 billion for around 20% equity stake in United States energy company Tellurian Inc’s Driftwood project. They will negotiate buying five million tonnes of gas per year.
7 pm: Modi meets a 17-member Kashmiri Pandit delegation from the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora in the United States city of Houston, Texas ahead of his “Howdy Modi” rally, NDTV reports. The delegation “unequivocally supported the steps being taken for the progress of India and empowerment of every Indian”, the Prime Minister’s Office tweets.
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