"Howdy, Houston!": PM Modi To Address Packed Texas Stadium - 10 Points

US President Donald Trump will join PM Narendra Modi at the event, 'Howdy, Modi!', organised by the Texas India Forum

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'Howdy, Modi!': Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address over 50,000 people in Texas today

New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share stage with US President Donald Trump today for 'Howdy, Modi!' - an event to be attended by 50,000 people in Texas. The organisers -- the Texas India Forum -- have billed it as the largest-ever turnout for a foreign elected leader on US soil. "Howdy Houston! It's a bright afternoon here in Houston. Looking forward to a wide range of programmes in this dynamic and energetic city today and tomorrow," tweeted PM Modi, who landed in the US for a week-long visit on Saturday. The Prime Minister, who will hold several bilateral meetings and address the United Nations General Assembly, held a round-table of US-based energy companies last evening. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who will also speak at the UN, is likely to flag Kashmir again.
Here's your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:
  1. Around 50,000 people are expected to attend the "Howdy, Modi" event at Houston's NRG Football Stadium, one of the largest in the US. The programme, themed, "Shared Dreams, Bright Futures" will highlight the contributions of Indian-Americans in enriching the American life for seven decades.
  2. "Howdy, Modi!" will be a "great opportunity to emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India, to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the world's oldest and largest democracies, and to discuss ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship," the White House said in a statement on Saturday.
  3. There's a strong political reason for President Trump to attend the 'Howdy, Modi!' event, according to a report in The Washington Post. "Democrats are making a big play for Texas in 2020... The rally.. provides Trump with access to a potential pool of Indian American voters that could turn out to be critical in next year's presidential elections," the newspaper reported.
  4. PM Modi began his marathon tour with a roundtable with the CEOs of energy companies. He had a "fruitful" meeting with top energy sector CEOs with discussions focusing on energy security and expanding mutual investment opportunities between India and the US, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
  5. On Tuesday, PM Modi and President Trump will hold a bilateral meeting in which they are likely to discuss the trade standoff over tariffs between the two countries. The White House has confirmed that President Trump will discuss ways to deepen trade relationship between the two nations.
  6. On Wednesday, PM Modi will attend an investment roundtable with 40 major companies. The meeting is crucial for India, which is trying to spur growth after its Gross Domestic Product growth dropped to a five-year low.
  7. PM Modi's speech at the UNGA will draw eyeballs amid tension between India and Pakistan over India's move to scrap special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and divide it into two Union Territories. Mr Khan, who will address the UNGA session shortly after PM Modi's address, has said he will raise Kashmir.
  8. India has told the international community and Pakistan that Kashmir is an internal matter. "Article 370 is an internal issue. Terrorism is one among many issues. The focus will be on India's role at global stage, the Prime Minister will present his vision in this regard," Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said last week.
  9. PM Modi will also take part in a big climate summit in New York. He will showcase what India has done to address climate change and spell out expectations and aspirations from the international community, Mr Gokhale said. Energy investors are keenly focused on what happens behind the scenes in view of the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing since February.
  10. India -- already the sixth-largest buyer of US liquefied natural gas -- is open to making purchases. In return, India wants the preferential trade status restored for a few more years, as PM Modi struggles to boost exports dampened by sluggish global demand made worse by the US-China trade war. New Delhi also wants market some of its farm products such as grapes to the US.




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