The riots in Delhi were at their peak when Trump visited India on 24 and 25 February. Both the leaders came under severe criticism for continuing with sightseeing and meetings, “seemingly unaffected” as the tension in the national capital shot up.
Modi only acknowledged the violence and appealed for peace on Wednesday, Day 3 of the riots, after Trump left the country.
Addressing a rally in South Carolina on Saturday, Trump said, “In India, I hate to say this to you, they actually have 129,000-seat stadium. Did you see it? The place was packed, and they did better than most. They gave me credit for 100,000. That was not bad. It’s 129. The stadium holds 100. They had a field that’s about three times... it’s cricket. It’s the biggest stadium. And they had 129,” according to News18.
He went on to praise Modi saying, the Prime Minister is a “great guy, loved by the people of India”. “And I went in, and here’s the problem. This is a big crowd. And normally I like talking about my crowds because I get the crowds like nobody, but I just got back from 140 or 50 or 60,000 people and now I’m coming here,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
“I may never be excited again about a crowd after going to India. Think of this, they have 1.5 billion people. We have 350, so we are doing pretty well, I will tell you what, but I love this crowd and I love that crowd too.”
Trump did not mention the riots that had engulfed Delhi during his trip to India. He had also sidestepped the question on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) while addressing a press conference in Delhi on Tuesday.
He said that issued involving the CAA are up to India. “We did talk about religious freedom. Prime Minister Modi wants people to have religious freedom in India...If you look back India has worked hard for religious freedom,” he said in the press conference.
On CAA, he said, “I don’t want to say anything on CAA. It is up to India. I hope it will take the right decision for its people.”
Asked if he discussed the incidents of violence taking place during his visit, he said he didn’t discuss individual attacks and that it “is up to India” to deal with it.
(With PTI inputs)