10-Member Committee Meets to Oversee Preparations for Trump’s Gujarat Visit
The special committee, which comprises several MPs from Ahmedabad as well as the city mayor, has drawn flak from the opposition Congress that has questioned its formation.
Image for representation.
Ahmedabad: A committee formed to oversee various programmes that are part of US 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 BV Doshi, Gujarat University Vice Chancellor Himanshu Pandya, and Durgesh Buch of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry
"It has been our culture that we welcome our guests with enthusiasm, and we are committed to that," Mayor Patel told reporters.
Welcoming the decision, BJP MP Kirit Solanki, who is also part of the 10-member committee said, "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. There are ten members in the committee."
Solanki also informed that the committee members will visit the newly-built Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, where the "Namaste Trump" event will be held.
The formation of the committee, first announced as Donald Trump Nagarik Abhivadan Samiti by Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, had drawn flak from the Congress.
In a tweet on Thursday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked, "Dear P.M, 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."
Queried on the Congress' objection to the committee, chair person Bijal Patel said, "Such allegations are baseless.”
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