United States President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited the Taj Mahal in Agra on Monday evening. They had landed at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at 11.40 am, following which an event was held in Trump’s honour.
Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the ‘Namaste Trump’ event at Motera stadium, where the US president announced a defence deal with India.
After Ahmedabad and Agra, Trump will travel to Delhi, where he is expected to discuss matters related to trade and defence. The US president will leave on Tuesday.
Over 10,000 security forces have been deployed to monitor the situation in Ahmedabad. In Agra, a tight security detail has been put in place across the city, primarily along the nearly 13-km route that will be taken by Trump’s convoy from the airport to the hotel.
Unprecedented security measures are in place in Delhi for Trump’s visit. Delhi Police have put double barricades on all the roads on which Trump’s convoy is likely to pass. The police will also conduct aerial surveillance of the route.
Here is how the day unfolded:
8.45 pm: Trump is scheduled to meet several people tomorrow. This includes Indian business executives, ministers, and bureaucrats. Besides Prime Minister Modi, he will meet Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, NITI Aayog chief Amitabh Kant and others.
7.49 pm: Trump and Melania Trump did not eat anything on the high tea menu during their visit to the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, PTI reports quoting the ashram’s trustee Kartikeya Sarabhai.
7.33 pm: Donald Trump and Melania Trump have arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, ANI reports.
7 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath presents a large portrait of the Taj Mahal to Donald Trump and Melania Trump, ANI reports.
6.47 pm: Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner head back to Agra airport.
6.40 pm: Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti says the Centre is busy with Donald Trump’s visit to India, while Delhi is “burning” and 8 million Kashmiris remain deprived of their fundamental rights. “’Hi Tea’ & Namastey Trump while Delhi burns & 8 million Kashmiris remain deprived of fundamental rights,” she tweeted according to PTI. “Gandhi ji’s legacy remembered only at perfunctory visits to Sabarmati ashram by foreign dignitaries. His values long forgotten.”
6.30 pm: Donald Trump has been gifted a marble replica of Mahatma Gandhi’s “three wise monkeys”, and a special edition of his autobiography, The Story Of My Experiments With Truth, PTI reports.
5.40 pm: Donald Trump writes in the visitors’ book: “The Taj Mahal inspires awe, a timeless testament to the rich and diverse beauty of Indian culture! Thank you, India.”
5.15 pm: The Trumps, including Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, get a guided tour of Taj Mahal.
5.05 pm: Donald Trump writes in the visitor’s book at the Taj Mahal, reports ANI.
5.02: Donald Trump and Melania Trump reach Taj Mahal.
5 pm: Artists perform on the streets as Donald Trump and Melania Trump head to the Taj Mahal, ANI reports.
4.40 pm: Indian-American politician Nikki Haley has said that there is much to be gained from the friendship between Donald Trump and Modi. “The US and India are the two largest democracies in the world and share many values,” Haley says in a tweet. “There is much to be gained by the friendship of Modi and Trump.”
4.17 pm: BJP overseas affairs department head Vijay Chauthaiwale says the “Namaste Trump” event was a “masterstroke of diplomacy”, PTI reports. The claims that the day will be written in golden letters in the history of India.
4.10 pm: Donald Trump and Melania Trump land at Agra airport, ANI reports. They will soon visit the Taj Mahal.
3.53 pm: UP Police say high security is in place in Agra and that an emergency plan is also in place, ANI reports.
3.15 pm: Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump calls the ‘Namaste Trump’ event spectacular.
3.01 pm: US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump leave for Agra. They will visit the Taj Mahal.
2.52 pm: PM Narendra Modi says: “Today India is not just creating a world record of sending the most satellites at once, but also the world record of the quickest financial inclusion.”
2.33 pm: Trump says US and Pakistan share a good relationship. “Thanks to these efforts we are beginning to see signs of big progress with Pakistan and we are hopeful for reduced tensions, greater stability & the future of harmony for all of the nations of South Asia,” he adds.
2.27 pm: Trump calls Chandrayaan a “great programme”, adds that the US and India are working closely together in the field of space exploration.
2.23 pm: US and India are united in fighting radical Islam, says Trump. “Every nation has the right to secure its borders. India and US will fight terror together,” he adds.
2.19 pm: Trump announces defence deals. “I’m pleased to announce that tomorrow our representatives will sign deals to sell over US$ 3 billion, in the absolute finest state of the art military helicopters and other equipment to the Indian armed forces,” he adds.
2.17 pm: Trump says the US is looking forward to provide India with some of the best and most feared military equipment on the planet. “We make the greatest weapons ever made,” says the US president. “We make the best and we are dealing now with India.”
2.13 pm: “India’s rise as a prosperous and independent nation is an example to every nation over the world,” says Trump
2.11 pm: Trump says India embraces liberty, rule of law and freedom.
2.10 pm: Trump mentions Bollywood and cricket in his speech. “All over the planet people take great joy in watching Bollywood films, bhangra, and classic films like DDLJ [Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge] and Sholay. You cheer on great cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli,” he says.
2.08 pm: Trump says under Modi, for the first time in history, every village in India now has access to electricity.
2.07 pm: Trump says India gives hope to all of humanity.
2.06 pm: India will soon become the home to the world’s largest middle class, says Trump.
2.05 pm: Trump showers praise on Modi. “PM Modi you are not just the pride of Gujarat, you are living proof that with hard work and devotion, Indians can accomplish anything at all, anything they want,” says the US president. “The prime minister is a moving story of an incredible rise.”
2.03 pm: “We will always remember this remarkable hospitality,” Trump adds. “India will hold a special place in our hearts. PM Modi started out as ‘tea wallah’, he worked as a tea seller. Everybody loves him but I will tell you this, he is very tough.”
2.01 pm: Trump remembers Modi’s visit to Texas. “Five months ago the United States welcomed your great prime minister at a giant football stadium in Texas and today India welcomes us at the world’s largest cricket stadium right here in Ahmedabad.”
2.01 pm: “America loves India, America respects India and America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people,” says Trump.
1.58 pm: Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump hug each other after the prime minister concludes his address.
1.55 pm: Modi says India and the US share a lot in common. “ Shared values and ideals,” he says. “Shared spirit of enterprise and Innovation. Shared opportunities and challenges. Shared hopes and aspirations.”
1.53 pm: Modi praises First Lady Melania Trump for her “commendable” work for children and the society at large. “Your presence here is an honour for us,” he says.
1.52 pm: “One is ‘land of the free’, the other believes the world is one family,” says Modi about India and the US. “One feels proud of ‘Statue of Liberty’, the other feels proud of ‘Statue of Unity’.
1.49 pm: Modi says India and US do not share just partnership anymore. “It is a far greater and closer relationship,” he adds.
1.48 pm: Modi welcomes Trump to the world’s biggest democracy.
1.47 pm: “A new history scripted at the Motera Stadium,” says Modi as he addresses thousands at the mega ‘Namaste Trump’ event in Ahmedabad.
1.45 pm: The ‘Namaste Trump’ event will begin shortly.
1.34 pm: Some visuals from the Motera Stadium.
1.33 pm: Sabarmati Ashram trustee Kartikeya Sarabhai says the US president was happy to visit the ashram. “While leaving he said that it was a very peaceful experience and appreciated the simple living style of Gandhi ji,” he tells ANI.
1.20 pm: US President Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump arrive at Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupnai and Governor Acharya Devvrat are also present.
1.12 pm: “Electric Atmosphere at Motera Stadium,” tweets PMO.
1.09 pm: Trump’s signature on the visitor’s book at Sabarmati Ashram generate some social media fun.
1.07 pm: Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad is upbeat for Trump’s event.
1.02 pm: Indian-American politician Nikki Haley says there is much to gain from the friendship of US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The US and India are the two largest democracies in the world and share many values,” she tweets.
12.59 pm: US President Donald Trump and PM Modi start 22-km roadshow in Ahmedabad before the ‘Namaste Trump’ event at Motera Stadium.
12.53 pm: The note US President Donald Trump wrote on the visitor’s book at Sabarmati Ashram.
12.50 pm: Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani tells Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella that the India Trump will see today “will be very different from what his predecessors saw in earlier visits”, reports The Indian Express.
12.48 pm: US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and PM Modi are on their way to Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad.
12.37 pm: US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump spin the charkha at Sabarmati Ashram.
12.33 pm: US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and PM Narendra Modi pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Sabarmati Ashram.
12.29 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Sabarmati Ashram.
12.24 pm: A red carpet welcome for US president in Ahmedabad.
12.23 pm: Modi tweets “welcome to India”.
12.16 pm: Trump’s cavalcade en route Sabarmati Ashram from the airport.
12.10 pm: US President Donald Trump leaves for Sabarmati Ashram from Ahmedabad airport, reports ANI.
12.03 pm: PM Narendra Modi meets US President Donald Trump at Ahmedabad airport.
11.59 am: Gujarati folk dancers perform at the arrival of Trump at Ahmedabad airport.
11.56 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets US President Donald Trump’s daughter upon her arrival in Ahmedabad.
11.53 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Ahmedabad airport to receive US President Donald Trump.
11.50 am: Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump arrives in Ahmedabad.
11.42 am: A special bulletproof enclosure has been created on the stage for Trump, reports The Indian Express.
11.40 am: US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump land in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, reports ANI.
11.38 am: A view of the stadium where Trump will deliver a speech.
11.36 am: After Trump’s tweet in Hindi, Modi replies saying “Atithi deva bhava”
11.34 am: Artists at the Airport Circle in Ahmedabad.
11.29 am: Policemen patrol the roads on horses in Ahmedabad ahead of Trump’s arrival.
11.06 am: The Shiv Sena, a former ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, says the “36-hour sojourn” of Trump will not make “an iota of difference” in the lives of poor and middle-class Indians. “Then where is the question of people being appreciative or enthusiastic of his tour,” the party says in an editorial piece in Saamana.
The party adds that Trump should only indulge in tourism rather than talking about matters like religious freedom in India. “These are our internal issues,” it says. “This country is run by people elected democratically and they don’t need guidance from any outsider on this.”
10.54 am: A group of dancers perform at Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, ahead of Trump’s arrival.
10.37 am: Supporters with ‘Trump India Road Show’ caps arrive near Ahmedabad International Airport to join the roadshow. Artistes gear up for their performances.
10.25 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Ahmedabad, reports ANI.
10.10 am: President Donald Trump says he is eagerly waiting to reach India. “We are eager to reach India. We are on the way and will meet everyone in a few hours,” he tweets in Hindi shortly before Air Force One is scheduled to land in Ahmedabad.
9.53 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets that India is waiting for Trump’s arrival.
9.42 am: Social media is abuzz with discussion on the menu for Trump.
9.36 am: Gujarat’s Ahmedabad and Uttar Pradesh’s Agra wear a festive look. More than one lakh people are likely to attend the event called “Namaste Trump”. Dance troupes and singers are reportedly going to perform on stages built along the 22-km route of the Modi-Trump roadshow. Several billboards of the Trumps along with Modi have been put up on the streets where people will greet the politicians. Students of government and private schools are also expected to perform.
In Agra, a group of around 350 artistes are scheduled to perform at the airport. Old roads have been repaired, dividers on the street repainted, illegal hoardings and posters reportedly removed along the route of Trump’s convoy. The Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Department has released 500 cusecs of water into Yamuna.
9.33 am: To tackle the monkey menace in Agra, security agencies have deployed five langurs on the route of Trump’s convoy, reports News18.
9.30 am: The United States Embassy on Sunday said that while it was not against the presence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia during the visit of the country’s First Lady Melania Trump to a government school in the national Capital, the event should not be seen as political. The clarification came following the reports of Kejriwal and Sisodia being left out of the school visit.
On Tuesday, Melania Trump is expected to attend a class on the “happiness curriculum” – a flagship scheme of the Kejriwal-led administration that was introduced by Sisodia in July 2018 – at a school in South Delhi. The curriculum focuses on the mental health of children, and involves 40 minutes of meditation, and other relaxing and outdoor activities. Sisodia is also Delhi’s education minister.