‘America Loves India,’ Trump Declares at Rally With Modi

When he became prime minister in the spring of 2014, the travel ban was lifted, and later that year, Mr. Modi made his first triumphant visit to the United States, where he had a private dinner with President Obama.

Mr. Trump is popular in India, where 2019 polling by the Pew Research Center found 56 percent of citizens expressed confidence in him to handle world affairs — one of just a half-dozen nations to register a majority on that question. In many other countries, he is more apt to draw crowds of protesters than admirers. Attendees at Monday’s rally seemed dazzled.

“If they don’t make any deals, that’s fine,” said Mahesh Banker, a 50-year-old doctor who attended the rally with friends. “But India is shining, and America recognizes that, and that’s all that matters.”

Another attendee, Harsh Patel, a 21-year-old from Gujarat who now lives in Canada, drew comparisons between the two leaders. “Modi is a strong leader, passionate about his people, and he works for them,” he said. “He’s unorthodox, and doesn’t care what people think. Kind of like Trump.”

In addition to hanging hundreds of banners and billboards, India’s government hurried in recent days to make cosmetic improvements to all three of the cities Mr. Trump is visiting. In Ahmedabad, a new wall appeared that happened to conceal a slum.

And in Agra on Sunday, a day before Mr. Trump’s arrival, workers were busy paving streets in and around the Taj Mahal compound. “Trump is coming!” volunteered one worker filling cracks in a sidewalk leading to the famous structure.

Local media reports chronicled efforts by officials to chase away the hundreds of monkeys who perennially roam around the structure and which can be hostile to people. No monkeys were visible on the grounds during Mr. Trump’s visit.

Reporting was contributed by Maria Abi-Habib and Hari Kumar from Ahmedabad, India; and by Jeffrey Gettleman, Shalini Venugopal and Suhasini Raj from New Delhi.

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