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Large Number of Indian Americans to Join White House Ceremonies During Prime Minister Modi’s State Visit

Large Number of Indian Americans to Join White House Ceremonies During Prime Minister Modi’s State Visit

  • While Reps. Ro Khanna and Michael Waltz want the prime minister to address the U.S. Congress, the community is planning rallies and events in D.C. to welcome the visiting leader.

A large number of Indian Americans are expected to be invited by the White House when the President and the First Lady welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his state visit next month. Confirming the “excitement” for the visit, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily briefing on May 24 that Biden “has been receiving a large number of requests to the state dinner he is hosting for Modi,” the Press Trust of India reported.

The prime minister will be in the nation’s capital from June 21 to 24, with a state dinner on June 22, according to a White House statement from Jean-Pierre. “The upcoming visit will affirm the deep and close partnership between the United States and India and the warm bonds of family and friendship that link Americans and Indians together,” the statement said.

Rep. Ro Khanna is hoping Modi gets an invitation from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. Modi has previously addressed the U.S. Congress in 2016, where he spoke about how the two countries have overcome the “hesitations of history.” Along with Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), Khanna wrote a letter to McCarthy urging him to invite the prime minister “to deliver a joint address to Congress in their capacity as co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.”

In the letter, they laid out the importance of strengthening the bilateral relationship between the United States and India and the importance of highlighting the partnership by granting a joint address to Congress. “As State Dinners have come to signify the President’s utmost respect for visiting heads of state, granting a joint address to Congress is a commensurate honor for the leader of the world’s largest democracy and perhaps the most critical partner to countering China in the 21st century,” the lawmakers wrote.

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Meanwhile, in preparation for Modi’s state visit, Indian Americans are planning to welcome him with an ‘India Unity Day’ march in 20 major cities across America on June 18, the Press Trust of India reported. Adapa Prasad, national president of Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) told PTI that the community is “really excited” about Modi’s visit. Events include a march in the nation’s capital, “from Washington Monument to Lincoln Memorial,” on June 18, as well as in cities.

“A group of Indian Americans from New York are planning to go to Andrews Air Force Base when the Prime Minister lands on June 21 afternoon, hundreds of the community members are planning to gather at Lafayette Square Park in front of the White House,” the PTI report added. Additionally, the community has planned “a cultural event spanning Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and West to East in front of the White House,” Prasad said, adding that “the program will be “an audio and video display of the growth of India, development of India during the last nine years.”

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