Trump’s India visit prioritizes pageantry over policy

Whirlwind trip reaffirms close ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. More than 10,000 attend rally.

By

World News

February 24, 2020 - 10:03 AM

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, escorts U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump on arrival at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Photo by (Press Information Bureau/Pib/Planet Pix/Zuma Press/TNS)

AHMEDABAD, INDIA (AP) — Prioritizing pageantry over policy, President Donald Trump basked in India’s welcoming embrace on a day that featured a mega-rally with cheering crowds, a mutual admiration show with his counterpart and a sunset tour of the famed Taj Mahal.

Trump used Day One of his whirlwind 36-hour visit to India to reaffirm close ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and tease progress on a trade deal down the road. But the day was largely devoted to a trio of enviable photo-ops: the largest rally of Trump’s presidency sandwiched between visits to a former home of independence leader Mohandas Gandhi and the Taj Mahal.

In his first hours on the subcontinent, Trump received the adulatory reception that has eluded him on many foreign trips. More than 100,000 people packed the world’s largest cricket stadium, nearly all of then wearing white caps with the name of the event, “Namaste, Trump.” 

Related