U.S. President Donald Trump’s first official visit to India has generated a lot of interest in both the countries with the media reporting every minute detail related to the two-day trip.
Trump’s claims of the number of people who will greet him in India has gotten particular attention in American media.
Trump initially claimed that Modi promised him seven million people will greet him along the route from the airport to the stadium. Last week, the U.S. President updated this number to 10 million.
“I hear they’re going to have 10 million people. They say anywhere from six to 10 million people are going to be showing up along the route to one of the largest stadiums in the world, the largest cricket stadium in the world,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Colorado, according to NDTV.
Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra told PTI that around one to two lakh people are expected to welcome Trump during the roadshow.
The US President will then address the ‘Namaste Trump’ event — on the lines of ‘Howdy Modi’ at Houston in the US last year — at the newly-built Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday.
Ahead of Trump’s visit, American media outlets looked at how Modi is appealing to Trump’s “first love” — crowd size. Here is what American media said before the U.S. President landed in Ahmedabad:
The New York Times
Titled ‘For a President Who Loves Crowd Size, India Aims to Deliver’, The New York Times piece talked about the importance of “crowd size” for Trump.
“What has seemed to animate Mr. Trump the most, though, are Mr. Modi’s promises of cheering crowds. “He told me we’ll have seven million people between the airport and the event,” Mr. Trump told reporters last Tuesday.”
The Washington Post
Anne Gearan and Seung Min Kim wrote about how the centrepiece of the U.S. President’s trip is a “massive rally in Trump’s honour”. Titled ‘Trump’s India trip mixes politics with policy, and offers the promise of his biggest rally yet’, The Washington Post piece said “Whatever the numbers, Trump will draw a crowd that may be his largest ever”.
“In addition to bragging rights, he hopes that popularity abroad can translate to votes back home. Although the Indian American diaspora of roughly 4.5 million people tends to vote Democratic, Trump has argued that his pro-business agenda and entrepreneurial background should be a draw.”
Los Angeles Times
This story by Shashank Bengali and Parth MN talked about what India is doing to “impress” Trump, including building a wall which blocks a slum from view and filling a stadium.
The Wall Street Journal
President Trump’s first visit to India, The Wall Street Journal’s piece said, will do more to highlight his personal diplomacy with Modi than it will to address tensions over economic issues.