Waving Indian and US flags and shouting slogans, thousands of people lined up on the 22-kilometer-long roadshow to watch US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania arrive at Motera Stadium for a ‘Namaste Trump’ event. Several people, including students from various parts of Ahmedabad and Gujarat, arrived here from the morning for the “India Roadshow” pageant as the troupe showed cultural performances.
Many were disappointed after being denied entry into the Motera Stadium for wanting a pass. But he urged the leaders to stand on the side of the road to get a glimpse. Officials previously said that more than one lakh people were expected to line up along the roadshow route.
Artists from almost all states performed during the roadshow. Different stages were constructed for each state at regular distances along the route. Dressed in traditional costumes, artists from various states performed in these 30-odd stages and wished VVIP all the way through the passage.
Govindbhai Patel and eight members of his village reached Ahmedabad in the morning in Sabarkantha district, about 70 km from here, standing in a queue on the banks of the Sabarmati river and waiting for the convoy to arrive.
Modi’s convoy first arrived at the Sabarmati Ashram, then Donald Trump, along with the US President and his wife, sat in Cadillac’s armored limousine called The Beast. From the ashram, the convoy then left for Motera Stadium. Patel said, “We came here from our village to get a glimpse of both Modi and Trump. I stood for three hours, but the wait was worth it.” “This kind of thing is rarely seen,” he said.
Rakshaben Kansara, who came here with three family members from Anand Nagar, about 80 km from here, was disappointed when he was not allowed inside the stadium as he did not have a valid pass. “We were not allowed inside the stadium, so we went and wherever possible to drive the auto-rickshaw to the Sabarmati Ashram, thinking that we could glimpse (Trump’s) there,” he said.
He had to be content to watch the “Namaste Trump” program outside the Sabarmati Ashram on the big screen. People gathered around the screen at various locations of the roadshow to watch live streaming of the Namaste Trump event.
Despite the intense heat, people gathered in large numbers on the roadshow route, wearing white hats with the “Trump India Roadshow” and waving Indian and American flags over them. These hats and flags and snacks were distributed along the route to them.