'Not just another partnership': Modi cites Statue of Unity to highlight 'close relationship' between India and US
Photo: AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday connected India and and the US through "Values and ideals, spirit of enterprise and innovation, opportunities and challenges, hopes and aspirations".

Not to mention, statues.

The Prime Minister was addressing the Namaste Trump event at Gujarat's Motera Stadium alongside the US President. The US leader is at present in India for a two day visit.

Connecting the United States and India through two statues -- the Statues of Liberty and the Statue of Unity, PM Modi positioned India as a nation that has much in common with the United States.

Modi said that while the United States is the "land of the free", India "treats the whole world as one".

"India-US relations are no longer just another partnership. It is a far greater and closer relationship. One is 'land of the free' the other believes the world is one family. One feels proud of 'statue of liberty' the other feels proud of 'statue of unity'," PM Modi said during his address at the "Namaste Trump" event.

For the uninitiated, the Statue of Unity is the world’s tallest statue and is a memorial dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. More recently, in December 2019, it surpassed the footfall at the 133-year-old Statue of Liberty. The 182 metres high structure saw an average of over 15,000 tourists visiting daily.

Inaugurated on October 31, 2018, the Statue is located near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat's Kevadiya colony. According to the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, a total of 30,90,723 tourists have visited Kevadia till November 30 this year, generating a total income of Rs 85.57 crore.

The crux of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Namaste Trump' was to showcase the personal bond between him and US President Donald Trump; he called him "my friend, India's friend".

Striking a personal bond between the Trump family and India, Modi stressed the work First Lady Melania Trump is doing and the previous visit of Ivanka Trump to India a couple of years back.

"First Lady Melania Trump, it is an honour to have you here. What you have done for a healthy and happy America is getting good results. What you are doing for the children in the society is admirable," said PM Modi.

Modi added, "You say: Be Best! You must have felt that the same sentiment of people is being expressed in today's reception."

Following the event, the President left for Agra. He is scheduled to visit the Taj Mahal before travelling to Delhi.

(With inputs from agencies)

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