Trump visit to Sabarmati Ashram ‘cancelled’, roadshow reduced

Gandhinagar: US President Donald Trump will cut short his stay in Ahmedabad to accommodate his likely Agra visit and the dinner at Delhi. Sources said his visit to the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati is in all likelihood cancelled.

“We are yet to receive any confirmation about the Presidents’ plans regarding the Gandhi Ashram visit, but 99 percent, it is scrapped,” said a state government official.

The Trumps were expected to spend about half-an-hour at the Ashram. A new parking space was being created at the place. A platform was being built on the rear side of the Ashram so that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could show the entire Sabarmati riverfront to the visiting dignitaries from one place. A special room was also being prepared at the Ashram, where the dignitaries would be spending some time. Sources said all that work has been halted for now.

So, now the mega event — the 22 km roadshow from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram — has been reduced to 9 km. Now, the Trump couple accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be driving straight to the Stadium from the Ahmedabad airport.

The change in plans can also be attributed to the fact that there’s also a dinner arranged in the evening in Delhi which the US dignitaries are expected to attend.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania will be driven around in India in his ‘Beast’, a 2018 model of a unique Cadillac which serves as a miniature version of White House.

The presidential state car, maintained by the United States Secret Service, is transported in the hold of Air Force One, the Boeing 747, that is the President’s plane. Technically, any fixed wing plane that the President flies in becomes Air Force One, but the term usually means the Presidential 747.

Air Force One is not only a flying Presidential palace with conference rooms and staff, the US President is able to act as commander-in-chief from aboard the plane. He can direct wars or even nuclear war if it comes to that. It also carries the Beast with it in the hold for the President when he is on the ground, almost anywhere in the world.

Motorcades escorting the US presidential state car constitute around 50 vehicles maintained by White House Military Office and helicopters of Marine One.

Meanwhile, barely 72 hours before Trump lands in India, the RSS’s economic arm has warned the Modi government against promising any trade deal that allows the US to eat into India’s over Rs 10,000 billion dairy business.

Before you jump to conclusions that the opposition is to protect the domestic dairy interest alone, think again. The Swadeshi Jagran Manch has brought in a religious angle to it.

Its Co-Convenor Ashwani Mahajan said: “Milk is a vegetarian diet in India. Demand of US administration is that India should remove the condition that only the milk of vegetarian cows be imported from the US. Since, in the US, cows are fed with blood and meat, and import of milk from such cows is prohibited in India.”

“US needs to understand that this demand of the US is not only unjust, it can’t be accepted also due to religious reasons.”

But the RSS’s economic arm is equally if not more concerned about the possible economic blow the sector may face, once US giants have access to India’s dairy market.

Image courtesy of IANS

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