Boris Johnson begins his 2-day India visit from Gujarat

On day one, he visits Sabarmati Ashram, calls on Gautam Adani to discuss business and investment

April 21, 2022 12:59 pm | Updated 10:16 pm IST - AHMEDABAD:

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel at the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad on Thursday April 21, 2022.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel at the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad on Thursday April 21, 2022. | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, on Thursday morning, on his first visit to India. 

He was received at the airport by the State Governor, Chief Minister and other top officials. The visiting Prime Minister was accorded a regal welcome with dancers and musicians performing along the four-km route from the airport to a hotel in Ahmedabad.

His brief stay in Ahmedabad began with a visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram, where he spent nearly 30 minutes. 

“It is an immense privilege to come to the ashram of this extraordinary man, and to understand how he mobilised such simple principles of truth and non-violence to change the world for better,” Mr. Johnson wrote in the visitors’ book at the Gandhi ashram. He was accompanied by the Chief Minister and a few top officials. 

Subsequently, he met Ahmedabad-based industrialist Gautam Adani to discuss business and investment opportunities. 

“Honoured to host Boris Johnson, the first UK PM to visit Gujarat, at Adani HQ. Delighted to support climate & sustainability agenda with focus on renewables, green H2 & new energy. Will also work with UK companies to co-create defence & aerospace technologies,” Mr. Adani tweeted after receiving Mr. Johnson at the company’s sprawling headquarters on SG Highway, Ahmedabad. 

After meeting Mr. Adani, Mr. Johnson flew by a special chopper to Halol, near Vadodara, to visit a new factory set up by leading UK-based JCB company to manufacture machines and equipment. Here also, he was accompanied by the Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. 

On return from Halol, he visited Akshardham temple and Biotechnology University in Gandhinagar. 

In the course of his visit, the British Premier is expected to announce major investments and trade in key industries in the country.   

Mr. Johnson said his country had already raised the Ukraine war issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a diplomatic level, while underlining that India and Russia shared “a very different relationships historically”. 

Meanwhile, ahead of his visit, Downing Street had said in a statement that “the visit will begin from Ahmedabad on Thursday (21st April) to meet with leading businesses and discuss the UK and India’s thriving commercial, trade and people links.” 

“This will be the first time a UK Prime Minister will visit Gujarat, India’s fifth-largest state and the ancestral home of around half of the British-Indian population in the UK.” 

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