Chairman of BJP's Foreign Affairs Department, Vijay Chauthaiwale (File photo)
Chairman of BJP's Foreign Affairs Department, Vijay Chauthaiwale (File photo)

How did President Trump come on board for Howdy Modi event, reveals Chauthaiwale

By Pragya Kaushika | Updated: Oct 03, 2019 21:22 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 3 (ANI): Chairman of BJP's Foreign Affairs Department Vijay Chauthaiwale on Thursday said that the organisers of the event -- Howdy Modi! -- had invited US President Donald Trump and his acceptance came as a surprise to all.
"Any time we organise an event abroad, the diaspora invites the local leadership. This is not the first time that the head of the government was invited. There are four instances in the past and leaders like David Cameron and Netanyahu had attended events earlier," Chauthaiwale told ANI.
"We also invited congressmen from both sides and going by the tradition, we invited the US President as well. We were sure he won't come, but he accepted our invitation," added Chauthaiwale, who spearheaded the preparations of the 'Howdy Modi!' event.
The BJP leader said that the Secret Service of the US President was highly accommodating 'as they understood that it wasn't their event.'
Elaborating on the event he said that even the podium from which both leaders spoke was specifically designed suiting the needs of both the leaders.
"The US President spoke from a podium with a seal on it. Our Prime Minister spoke from a transparent one. They said they can't use ours. The solution was we could give two podiums. One could remain vacant. But there were suggestions from the other side," informed Chauthaiwale.
He further said: "The White House suggested that they designed a new one without the US seal. We also suggested a few things in it. Nowhere such steps were taken by the US President. It was a grand story of collaboration of two governments, two security agencies and of the entire diaspora."
Speaking about the scale of 'Howdy Modi!' event, the BJP leader said: "In Houston, we had just little over 8 weeks for preparations. We have 1,100 odd Indian communities in Greater London, 600 in Silicon Valley. 100 Gujarati associations in the Bay Area. It represents a mini India there. Thanks to the appeal of the Prime Minister, we have been successful in bringing them together."
"Volunteers were busy for four weeks. 50,000 people who attended this event, seats were allocated to them. Entire thing was done by volunteers. We wouldn't have been able to afford to do it through professionals, who may have charged us four dollars per seat. It can be a classic case study for managing big events," he said, adding all the donations were anonymous as the organisers didn't want anyone to hijack the show.
"There was one from the Indian community who owned a Subway store. He used to supply 100 of Subway sandwiches to volunteers for a week. It was a community spirit shown by an Indian, who owns a Subway shop," said the leader while sharing his experience.
On Hassan Minhaj controversy, Chauthaiwale said: "My understanding is that he was not registered as media. He didn't want to take ordinary seats. He wasn't ready for it and so the clash." (ANI)