The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday told Parliament that the government of India did not incur any expense for the “Howdy, Modi” event held in the US city of Houston in September last year. It added that an US-based non-profit organisation, The Texas India Forum Inc, had organised the event.

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan made the remarks while responding to an unstarred question from MP Shantanu Sen in the Rajya Sabha. The event was held on September 22, 2019. “The chairperson of the Texas India Forum Inc was Mr Jugal Malani, an Indian community member based in Texas,” added Muraleedharan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the event, which was part of his itinerary for his week-long visit to the US. Modi received a warm welcome from the 50,000-plus audience. “Prime Minister, as part of his visit to the US, participated in the event at the invitation of the organisers and addressed a gathering of members of the Indian-American community and many of their elected representatives,” said Muraleedharan.

On August 23, the Donald Trump campaign for the United States presidential elections released a video that appeals to Indian-American voters to give “four more years” to the incumbent. The video featured clips from the “Namaste Trump” and “Howdy Modi” events that the American president addressed with Modi. “Mr President, you had introduced me to your family in 2017,” Modi said in a clip from the event. Gesturing towards the audience, he added: “And today, I have the honour to introduce you to my family.”