Justin Trudeau cuts lonely figure on India tour
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got a cold shoulder instead of a warm welcome as he began his week-long trip to India on Monday by taking a tour of the Taj Mahal and a visit to an elephant rescue sanctuary near Agra.
He was received at the Delhi airport by MoS for agriculture Gajendra Singh and Indian ambassador to Canada Vikas Swarup. No PM Modi. In Agra, chief minister Yogi Adityanath stayed away, with district magistrate Gaurav Dayal and commissioner K Rammohan Rao reportedly meeting him.
The lacklustre welcome comes against the backdrop of Trudeau fighting off disquiet in the Indo-Canadian community and concerns in India that his government is enabling pro-Khalistan elements.
He attended a Khalsa Day event in Toronto where Khalistan flags and the portrait of former Khalistani militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale were displayed. Reports suggest he may not meet Punjab's Congress CM Amarinder Singh.
Trudeau is accompanied by his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and children Hadrien, Ella-Grace Margaret and Xavier James Trudeau. "For me to be able to be here on an official trip while bringing my kids with me to share this is really special and being able to enjoy this as a dad with my kids is really nice," the Canadian PM said after the visit to the Taj Mahal.
On Monday, he will go to PM Modi's home state, Gujarat, where he will visit the Sabarmati Ashram and Akshardham Temple, while he is expected to lead a discussion at the Indian Institute of Management on "Education and Investment Opportunities" with students.
Over the rest of the week, Trudeau is slated to participate in business round-tables in Mumbai to promote trade, investment and job creation. He will also meet representatives of the film industry to explore opportunities in the field.
Trudeau and Modi who meet on February 23, are expected to talk on civil nuclear cooperation, space, defence, energy and education, apart from trade and business.
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