Over 60 prominent US lawmakers, including first American Hindu Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, will attend the "Howdy Modi!" mega diaspora event in Houston to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Lawmakers, including Congressmen, Senate representatives and governors of various states, will attend the event organized by the Indian-American community at the sprawling NRG Stadium on September 22 that will witness a record audience of 50,000 people, Jiten Agrawal, CEO of Expedien, an IT services firm, told PTI in an exclusive interview.
“This will be the grandest and momentous of all events in the US until now as there is huge amount of keenness among Indian-Americans, main stream Americans, the lawmakers and business heads to listen to the vision of Prime Minister Modi," Agrawal said. He said that some of the lawmakers who would attend the event includes John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Al Green, Pete Olson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Sylvia Garcia, Greg Abbot, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Ami Bera, Brian Babin, Raja Krishnamurthy, Tulsi Gabbard, Brad Sherman and Governor Eliot Engel of New York
“I think, it would be the first of its kind event in the largest stadium in the city of Houston. Lot of logistics, organizational challenges and dedicated community involvement has gone behind to make it a grand successful event,” Agrawal, who is involved in the planning of the mega event, said. The Houston event will be Modi's third major address to the Indian-American community after he became the prime minister in 2014 and the first after his re-election in May.
The previous two were at the Madison Square Garden in New York in 2014 and the Silicon Valley in 2016. Both the events were attended by more than 20,000 people. “Houston diaspora is perhaps the most influential and well connected in the US political map. Perhaps this is why Houston was chosen by the Indian government,” he said on asked why Houston was chosen as the destination for the event.
He said that Houston was a primary choice due to the fact that trade between Texas and India has been increasing multifold. Houston being the energy capital of the world, is an excellent partner for India's growth. "India is going to be a USD 5 trillion economy in the next few years and need significant collaboration in healthcare and Texas medical centre being one of the best in country ushers in another partnership between India and Texas on medical research and new treatments,” he said.
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