Move over MSG, Modi to address three gatherings in Australia


After Madison Square Garden in New York, it will be the historic Melbourne Cricket Grounds

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will outdo his multi-event programme in the U.S. when he visits Australia next month for a four-day, four-city visit where he will address not one but three big gatherings.

Sources told The Hindu, after Madison Square Garden (MSG) in New York, it will be the historic Melbourne Cricket Grounds (MCG) that will see an official reception; the Allphones Arena of the Sydney Olympic Park, which will see an Indian community event for him.

Mr. Modi will address the joint session of Australian Parliament in Canberra, which will also hear British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Taking a cue from Mr. Modi’s desire to visit cities other than the capital, the Australian government is splitting up its official welcome to the Prime Minister. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will host Mr. Modi at the G-20 summit in Brisbane, the bilateral in Canberra, and at a gala dinner at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds for about 500 special invitees.

There are many common threads to Mr. Modi’s visit to Australia and to previous bilaterals in Japan and the U.S.

Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary Ram Madhav, who was responsible for liaising with the Indian community in New York to organise the Madison Square Garden event, is currently in Australia, seeing to the details.

Meanwhile, a specially formed Indo-Australian Community Foundation has already begun to register people to fill up the Sydney superdome as the arena is known, that has a capacity of 21,000. That’s bigger than the New York crowd of 18,000, even though the Indian-Australian population is a fraction of the Indian-American community.

His speech to the group is expected to focus on economic opportunities for India and Australia and a pitch to his domestic audience much like the speeches in New York and Tokyo were.

Mr. Modi’s visit to Australia is the first by an Indian Prime Minister since 1986, and the first address to Parliament.

October 26, 2014 |

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