New York, Sep 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his visit to the US on Thursday to participate in the United Nations summit on development, and boost his programs of Make in India and Digital India, to a rousing welcome outside the hotel by the local Indian community.
Arriving at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, he stepped out of his vehicle and greeted at least 500 people, waiting for him with drummers and dancers, and waved to them. Secret Service agents ran around him, trying to set up a cordon as the crowds surged and Modi tried to get closer to it.
Several layers of security were deployed anticipating his impromptu walk around. The welcoming crowd was penned in behind fences after a security scan. Bomb-sniffing dogs went over the area.
His frenzied supporters chanted “Modi, Modi” and distributed sweets. His supporters began gathering about four hours before his arrival and as offices closed for the day, more people joined them. Jyoti Patel, who came from New Jersey, said they had gathered to support him because “he is a honest man and the hope of India.”
Another supporter, Vikram Amin, said he was there to “hail” Modi as he was trying to accomplish for all of India what he accomplished for India.
Later, he met informally members of the Indian community from the New York and Chicago areas.
Vasudev Patel, a physician from Atlanta who met Modi, said some of those meeting him offered to help him implement his programs with their expertise. Modi, he said, welcomed their offers and asked the Indian community in the US to contribute to India’s development efforts.