Trump visit: Budget put off to Feb 26

Gandhinagar: With the visit of US President Donald Trump to Ahmedabad having been officially confirmed, the Gujarat Government has announced the State Budget will now be presented in the assembly on February 26, instead of February 24.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Pradipsinh Jadeja made the announcement on Tuesday.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the finance portfolio, said he will now present the budget on February 26.

Although the official confirmation about Trump’s visit came from the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday, the Gujarat Government had launched preparations for the visit days ago.

The civic body in Ahmedabad is taking pains to pretty up the city by painting the walls and dividers, and making new footpaths along the route Trump is expected to take as he begins his two-day visit to India on February 24.

In Ahmedabad, he is expected to inaugurate the world’s largest cricketing arena, Motera Stadium, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trump will also address a public gathering at the stadium.

As many as one lakh invites have been sent out to prominent people to ensure the event is a success, official sources said. They add that a helipad has been specially prepared at the Motera Stadium for the event.

Sources said the BJP is sending the invites to its partymen across the country, but the main audience will be from Gujarat.

President Trump is also expected to visit the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati with the Prime Minister. Official sources said they are likely to take a road route from the airport to Motera, and leave for Gandhi Ashram from there.

For entertainment, special events by the Bollywood artists have been organized and a top event management company has been roped in by the Gujarat Cricket Association. There will be three to four hours of entertainment by the top performers to hold the audience even after the politicians leave the venue.