- PM Modi was received like legend Elvis Presley by Indian community: Trump
- US President Trump said PM Modi was like "the father of India"
- Have great respect, admiration and I really like him: Trump for PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was received like American rock-and-roll legend Elvis Presley by members of the Indian community at the grand event in Houston in a testament to his popularity, US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, adding that the 69-year-old leader was like "the father of India".
"I remember India before... it was very torn. There was a lot of dissension, lot of fighting. And he brought it all together. Like a father would bring it together. Maybe he is the father of India. We would call him the father of India... I think he has done a fantastic job," Mr Trump told reporters ahead of the bilateral meeting between the two leaders in New York.
"What the event showed is how much I like the country of India and how much I like your Prime Minister. There was tremendous spirit in the room there. They love this gentleman to my right. Those people went crazy. He's like an American version of Elvis," he added, referring to the grand 'Howdy, Modi!' event on Sunday attended by over 50,000 people.
Mr Trump shared a stage with PM Modi at the event, addressing the Indian community in Texas who will play a critical role in deciding whether he gets re-elected in elections due next year.
"My personal chemistry (with PM Modi) is good as it can get. I have great respect, admiration and I really like him. He is a great gentleman and a great leader," he said on Tuesday.
PM Modi had introduced Mr Trump to the packed stadium with generous praise. "From CEO to Commander-in-Chief, from boardrooms to the oval office, from studios to the global stage, from politics to the economy and to security, he has left a deep and lasting impact everywhere," PM Modi had said.
At the bilateral meeting on Tuesday, the two leaders discussed trade and terrorism. Hours after repeating his offer of mediating on the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan for the fourth time despite New Delhi's objections, Mr Trump appeared non-committal to pushing Islamabad to do more to counter terrorists.
"The message (to Pakistan) is not for me to give, it is for Prime Minister Modi to give. And he gave that loud and clear the other day. Very loud message and I am sure he will be able to handle that situation," the US President said in response to a question.