Howdy Modi: Top quotes from PM's spectacular event in Houston
The NRG Stadium in Houston, United States, was jam-packed on Sunday as a 50,000-strong gathering welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 'Howdy Modi' event was attended by a battery of US lawmakers including American President Donald Trump. Addressing the mammoth gathering, PM Modi spoke about Indo-US ties, campaigned for Trump and also slammed Pakistan. Here are the top quotes from the event.
With the event, PM Modi scripted history as he became the first foreign leader to address such a massive crowd in the US along with the country's President. The stadium was filled to its brim and in a rare show of friendship, PM Modi walked hand in hand with Trump. The chemistry between both leaders has now become a talking point around the globe.
As was expected, PM Modi spoke on Article 370, which was repealed by his government in August. He said the decision was taken to extend benefits of the Indian constitution to Jammu and Kashmir, where cross-border terrorism funded by Pakistan has been flourishing for decades. "The time has come for a decisive fight against terrorism and those who support terrorism," he said.
Without explicitly naming Pakistan, PM Modi said some have made hatred towards India their core agenda. He then added, "Whether it is 9/11 in America or 26/11 in Mumbai, where are its conspirators found? Not just you, the whole world knows who these people are." In a warning to Pakistan, PM Modi reaffirmed that it has US' support in the war against terrorism.
Interestingly, PM Modi asked the massive crowd to give a standing ovation to Indian parliamentarians for abrogating Article 370, which he said will change J&K for the better. The crowd obliged instantly, stood up, and clapped for MPs while chanting "Modi, Modi".
Drawing from his own election campaign, PM Modi cheered for the American President saying "Abki baar, Trump sarkar". The US will choose its next President in 2020, and Indian-Americans will play a major role in it. In rich praise for Trump, PM Modi said the former's name is known to everyone in the planet. He said Trump has always been "warm, energetic, and accessible".
"We are witnessing history in the making. Mr. President, you had introduced me to your family in 2017. Today I have the honor of introducing you to my family," he said, pointing towards the large crowd of Indian-Americans.
PM Modi then went on to say that he is nothing without the support of 130 crore Indians. "So when you ask 'Howdy, Modi!', I want to reply everything is fine in India," he said. He also claimed that India has been experiencing low inflation, low fiscal deficit along with high economic growth. Further, he spoke about low-cost data in India and GST.
Trump also had some amazing things to say. He said that he promised in his campaign that India will have a good friend in the US, and he kept his words. "I can guarantee that you can never have a better friend than Donald Trump," he added. Like PM Modi, Trump also said it was important to fight terrorism, especially radical Islamic terrorism.
Trump also said that making world-class products accessible in India is one of the top priorities. "Soon, Indians will have access to NBA basketball. People will gather in Mumbai to watch the first NBA game in India. Am I invited, Prime Minister?" Trump asked, and then said, "Don't be surprised, I am warning you, I may come."