Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given an enthusiastic welcome on Sunday as he arrived to address the crowd at the Howdy Modi event at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Red carpets were rolled out for him in the country which once denied him visa in 2005. Several Indian and US officials offered a warm welcome to PM Modi.
Christopher Olson, Director of Trade and International Affairs, US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster and Indian Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla were at the airport to receive Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Narendra Modi addressed a crowd of more than 50,000 Indian-Americans at the Howdy Modi event in Houston, Texas.
US President Donald Trump also joined PM Modi in the Houston rally and had a bilateral meeting in the New York.
They also exchanged warm words of friendship and praised each other’s works.
During the address, a large round of applause broke out at the event when PM Modi said, “Abki Baar, Trump Sarkar.”
It is said to be one of the important events as the two greatest leaders of the world have come together to address a rally in the US. It also testifies the growing relation between the India and US.
But, here the question arises as to why the Howdy Modi event was equally important to US President Donald Trump
Firstly, it is a known fact that Trump enjoys huge crowds and this event provides an opportunity to court Indian-Americans for the next Presidential elections.
With a population 3.2 billion, Indian-Americans comprise 1% of the US population and are also among the wealthiest communities in the US.
Interestingly, majority of the Indian-Americans are Democrats and have voted for Hilary Clinton in the 2016 elections, PM Modi however has a strong support for his nationalist views and immensely popular among the Indian-Americans.
Donald Trump here is hoping that this event jointly addressed by Trump and Modi will help voters to switch sides.
Not just Trump, other lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat were also present at the event which signifies the importance of the Indian diaspora votes in the 2020 elections.
On the other hand, India and US have trade deals which are yet to be announced and Trump definitely needs a trade win for his 2020 election campaign.
The US importers of Indian products who are eligible for GSP Generalised Systematic Preferences are in trouble as the costs have risen. Hence, there are in a hope of trade deal with the India.
Also on the wake of cuts in the corporate taxes announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, India is now considered to be competitive which will attract more trade and investment.
The joint appearance also underscores the growing strategic significance of US-India ties. The world’s two largest democracies are a vital check on China’s ambitions to dominate the Asia-Pacific region. India can also take advantage of the ongoing tussle between US-China on trade.
Not to forget, India is Houston’s fourth-largest trading partner and the demand for energy is expected to further boost the sale of American oil and gas.
For India, it’s also an opportunity to bring down the trade deficit with the United States which is a major issue for Donald Trump.
However, the Howdy Modi event proved to be a win-win situation for both PM Modi and Trump.