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Donald Trump likely to squeeze in 15-min stopover at Sabarmati

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will accompany Trump to the Ashram, which is closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi and India's freedom struggle, in the midst of their joint roadshow from the international airport, Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Ashish Bhatia said.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 24, 2020, 07.37 AM IST
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Ashram secretary Amrut Modi said that Trump will spend 15 minutes at the place.
New Delhi: After much back and forth, officials in the Gujarat government said US President Donald Trump will visit the Sabarmati Ashram here in Gujarat during his maiden visit to India on February 24.

However, officials told ET that the programme has been squeezed in the schedule and the visit to the Ashram may not last for more than 15-20 minutes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will accompany Trump to the Ashram, which is where Gandhi spent several years of the freedom struggle.

Speaking to ET, director of the Gandhi Ashram Atul Pandya said he was informed by “officials in the ministry of external affairs at around 10:30 am on Sunday morning that the Trumps will visit the Ashram for 10-15 minutes.”

“This is the first time we got the confirmation about the visit...It has been decided that they will only go to Hriday Kunj which is where Gandhi lived. That is the soul of the Ashram,” he said, adding that generally delegates who come to the Ashram to spend about 30 minutes visit the exhibition and rooms of other Ashramites.

Gujarat government officials have constructed a new “green room” for the PM and the Trumps, and have also refurbished the podium at the Ashram with three seats from where one can see the Sabarmati river flowing. The charkha gallery with tutors who can give a demonstration is also kept ready in case any of the delegates wants to try his or her hand at the spinning wheel.

At 3 pm on Sunday there was a meeting of the US secret service that is looking after the security of Trumps with officials from the SPG, NSG and Gujarat Police. Ashram officials were also briefed on the security constraints.

Earlier, there was uncertainty over Trump’s visit to the Ashram as the family was inclined towards reaching Agra before dusk to catch a glimpse of the Taj Mahal at sunset. Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Friday had said the White House will take a call on the visit.

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