After days of snub by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has finally been given a welcome he deserved in India in accordance with the standard protocol for a visiting head of the state.
Hours after Bollywood megastars, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, met Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister arrived in Amritsar. Among those who welcomed him included Akali Dal leader Sukbir Singh Badal, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh too visited the hotel to meet Trudeau. Sidhu told news agency ANI that ‘the 20-minute meeting between Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau can take Punjab 20 years ahead.”
There are reports that Punjab CM will meet Trudeau as well as the six ministers who are accompanying him on his India trip. This is a marked departure from his earlier stand due to Khalistan controversy.
Meanwhile, Oscar-winning music maestro AR Rahman too has welcomed Trudeau. He took to Twitter to write, “Welcome to India @JustinTrudeau ..wish you a wonderful & memorable stay here..I’m sure you will enjoy our Indian hospitality:)”
Rahman’s tweet came just hours after Shah Rukh and Aamir had met Trudeau in Mumbai. The Canadian PM is being accompanied by wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and three children -Ella-Grace, Xavier and Hadrien and six ministers.
Trudeau has already been to Taj Mahal in Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi ashram in Gujarat before arriving in Mumbai. During his previous stopovers, the respective BJP governments chose to send low level government officers to greet Trudeau. One of the reasons why Modi has been circumspect in according a high profile treatment to Trudeau is allegedly due to his support for Sikhs and Muslims, two important ethnic population groups of Canada.