New Delhi, February 21: With the Indian government directing its efforts to accord a grand welcome to visiting United States President Donald Trump, the Opposition has raised questions over the 'Namaste Trump' event scheduled in Ahmedabad. The Congress party on Friday asked the Narendra Modi government to explain why it is using "taxpayers' money" for the "private event" to be held in Motera Stadium.
Hitting out at the Prime Minister with the "vanakkam" - Tamil equivalent of bye - jibe, the party accused the Centre of foregoing national interests by using funds from the state exchequer to fund a private event. If 'Namaste Trump' is being organised by an NGO named Donald Trump Nagrik Abhinandan Samiti, then why has the government shelled out "Rs 120 crore", the Congress asked.
"If you believe the MEA, Namaste Trump is being organised by a private agency which no one has heard of till now. The govt needs to answer pertinent questions being raised and explain why tax-payer money is being used for a private agencies' event," said the Congress in a statement issued on social media.
'Namaste Trump, Vanakkam National Interest': Congress
If you believe the MEA, Namste Trump is being organised by a private agency which no one has heard of till now. The govt needs to answer pertinent questions being raised & explain why tax-payer money is being used for a private agencies' event. #WhatModiShouldAskTrump pic.twitter.com/jv5WG4VHKh
— Congress (@INCIndia) February 21, 2020
The Namaste Trump event, styled on the lines of 'Howdy!Modi' held in Houston in September last year, is scheduled in the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stadium in Ahmedabad's Motera on February 24. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said the event is organised by the Donald Trump Nagrik Abhinandan Samiti.
After the MEA statement, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked the government to reveal details about the Donald Trump Abhinandan Samiti, as no information is available related to the organisation on public platforms. "When was the invitation extended to U.S President and accepted? Why is President Trump then saying you have promised him a grand event with 7 million people?" he further asked.