Known for being an ardent fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu Congresswoman in the US, has issued a video message welcoming him ahead of the much-piblicised Howdy Modi event. In a short video message, Gabbard said that she also apologised for not being able to attend the Howdy Modi event due to her ‘pre-scheduled’ commitment.
“I would like to extend a warm welcome to Prime Minister Modi on his latest visit to the United States and I’m sorry that I’m not able to join you there in person due to previously scheduled Presidential campaign in Iowa,” she said.
She said that India was the world’s largest democracy and one of the United States’ most important partners in the Asia-Pacific region. “Our two nations must continue to work closely together if we are to address the pressing issues which impact us and the world,” Gabbard said.
The four-term Congresswoman said, “Let us work together to usher in a 21st century of aloha – respect and love for others, no matter our race, religion, ethnicity, caste, economic status or political affiliations.”
Gabbard was part of a select group of Members of Congress to greet and escort PM Modi to the podium when he addressed a Joint Session of Congress in June 2016. She has never hidden her admiration for Modi. In an interview to an American website, she had, however, explained that she did not agree with every policy of the BJP-led government in India. This was when the interviewer reminded her about her past statements condemning bigotry and religious persecutions in Muslim countries.
Modi is likely to address a crowd of 50,000 people this Sunday. US President Donald Trump and several high-profile members of the US Congress are also likely to attend the event.
However, there are reports of torrential rains coupled with the tropical storm wreaking havoc in Houston. This recently prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency in several parts of the state of Texas.