Committee meets to review preparations for Trump’s Gujarat visit

The Swagat Samiti is a 10-member committee

Updated - November 28, 2021 12:21 pm IST

Published - February 22, 2020 07:15 pm IST - Ahmedabad

An aerial view of Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad. File

An aerial view of Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad. File

A committee formed to oversee the various programmes that are a part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Gujarat on February 24 , held its first meeting at the Circuit House in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

The Swagat Samiti is a 10-member committee that includes Ahmedabad Mayor Bijal Patel, who is its chairperson, BJP MPs from Ahmedabad East and West Lok Sabha seats Hasmukh Patel and Kirit Solanki respectively, architect and Padma Bhushan awardee B.V. Doshi, Gujarat University Vice Chancellor Himanshu Pandya and Durgesh Buch of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“It is part of our culture to welcome our guests with enthusiasm, and we are committed to that,” Ahmedabad Mayor Bijal Patel told presspersons.

“The heads of two of the world’s largest democracies are visiting Ahmedabad. To welcome them is a historic event, not just for Ahmedabad but for the country and the world...I feel proud to be part of the committee,” MP Kirit Solanki said.

Mr. Solanki said the committee members would visit the newly-built Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera , where the ’Namaste Trump’ event will be held.

Meanwhile, the formation of the committee, first called the Donald Trump Nagarik Abhivadan Samiti by the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, had drawn flak from the Congress.

In a tweet on Thursday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked, “Dear PM, Intriguing news from @MEAIndia ! Pl state- 1. Who is the President of Donald Trump Abhinandan Samiti? 2. When was the invitation extended to U.S President & accepted? 3. Why is President Trump then saying you have promised him a grand event with 7 million people?”

In another tweet, the Congress leader questioned, “Why is Gujarat Govt then spending 120 Crore for a 3 hour event organized by an unknown Pvt entity? India values its visiting dignitaries but pl note- Diplomacy is serious govt business & not a series of photo-ops & event management tactics.”

“Such allegations are baseless,” chairperson Bijal Patel said, when asked about the Congress’ objection to the committee.

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