WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump has made yet another tall claim about the size of the crowd that will welcome him in Ahmedabad, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told him that there will 10 million people to greet him on his arrival for his maiden visit to India.
President Trump and First Lady Melania are scheduled to travel to Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi on February 24 and 25.
Speaking to reporters at the Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday, Trump said that Modi told him that "we'll have 7 million people between the airport and the event."
"So it's going to be very exciting. But he says between the stadium and the airport, we'll have about 7 million people. So it's going to be very exciting. I hope you all enjoy it," he said.
On Thursday, Trump upped the crowd size by three million at a 'Keep America Great' rally in Colorado.
"I hear, they are going to have 10 million people. They say anywhere from six to 10 million people are going to be showing up along the route to one of the largest stadiums in the world, the largest cricket stadium in the world, which is brand new and beautiful," said Trump, who is seeking reelection in the November presidential polls.
But according to a top civic official in Ahmedabad, the total population of the city is only around 70 lakh.
The authorities believe that between one to two lakh people are expected to line up along the 22-km route of the road show by Modi and Trump from the airport to the Motera cricket stadium, said to be the world's largest.
"We believe that around one to two lakh people will gather to welcome the dignitaries during the road show," Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra said on Thursday, contradicting the claims made by the US President.
As per the road show route plan, Trump and Modi will first reach the Sabarmati Ashram, a place closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi, from Ahmedabad airport.
Addressing his supporters, Trump spoke about his India visit and said the "Namaste Trump" rally in Ahmedabad would spoil him.
"Prime Minister Modi said, we will have 10 million people greet you. Here's my problem. We have a packed house. We have a lot of people, thousands of people that couldn't get in. It's going to look like peanuts from now on," he said.
"I'll never be satisfied with the crowd. If we have 10 million people in India, how can I be satisfied when we fill up like a 60,000-seat stadium? I am getting spoiled," Trump said.
One of Trump's supporters from the audience then suggested that he build a bigger stadium.
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