Private committee to host 'Namaste Trump' event

Private committee to host 'Namaste Trump' event; not a single meeting held as yet

US President Donald Trump. (AFP Photo)

 A day after the Ministry of External Affairs' spokesperson Raveesh Kumar mentioned in his press briefing that an organisation "Donald Trump Abhinandan Samiti" is responsible for felicitating "Namaste Trump" event at Motera cricket stadium, it has been revealed that Ahmedabad Mayor Bijal Patel is its chairperson, while President of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) Durgesh Buch is one of its members. 

Kumar told reporters about this committee during a press conference in Delhi Thursday, when he was asked if leaders of Opposition parties have been invited to the event. He responded that "The event is being organised by Donald Trump Nagrik Abhinandan Samiti and they are the ones who are decisions on who should be invited."

Sources indicated that a senior IPS officer, educationist and several artists are part of its members. What is surprising about this "committee" is the fact that it hasn't convened a single meeting till today.

When contacted, Buch confirmed that he has been included in the committee but did not know who the other members are.

"No meeting has taken place as yet. I was told recently that I am part of Donald Trump Abhinandan Samiti over the phone. I don't know anything else about it," he said.

Despite repeated calls, Mayor Bijal Patel didn't respond and later in the day, her phone was switched off.

The "Namaste Trump" event is taking place at the cricket stadium in Motera, owned by Gujarat Cricket Stadium (GCA), which said that it has only given the venue for the event and is assisting other agencies preparing for it.

"We also want to clear some news reports suggesting that the stadium will be inaugurated on February 24. This is false. We have only given the venue for the event," persons associated with the GCA said.

While the GCA has lent its stadium, an entertainment firm "Wizcraft" is said to have been hired to engage performers to entertain the crowd. Repeated calls and SMSes to Viraf Sarkari, one of the directors of the firm as described on its website, remained unanswered.

Several government officials refused to respond when asked about "Donald Trump Abhinandan Samiti." Chief Secretary Anil Mukim also didn't respond to calls and messages.
Senior officials of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) maintain that "Namaste Trump" is the responsibility of GCA and Wizcraft. They said that AMC is managing the 22-km-long roadshow.

Recently, a website "namastepresidenttrump" was also created to felicitate the "Namaste Trump" event. It has been created by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of Gujarat.

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