A host of world leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, have been hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad. This comes after PM Modi came to power in 2014.
On Thursday, British PM Boris Johnson was added to the list. But, what makes Ahmedabad so important that makes it appear to be the second capital of the country?
According to various reports, PM Modi’s strategy to showcase development projects initiated by him as the Chief Minister of the state to world leaders and emphasise on decentralisation experiments that he has been working on.
In September 2014, PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping spent a brief time at the Sabarmati riverfront. This had beamed live on hundreds of television channels in India and abroad.
The following day, both heads of state held a bilateral dialogue in New Delhi but the visuals of the two at Sabarmati riverfront were still running on television screens.
In September 2017, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited India to lay the foundation stone of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, Gujarat was given preference over the financial capital of the country.
While visiting the Siddhi Saiyad Mosque in the walled city, Shinzo Abe was driven along the Sabarmati riverfront to get a glimpse of the project.
Meanwhile, during the last day of campaigning for the previous Gujarat assembly election, PM Modi again chose Sabarmati River for his seaplane take-off and landing.
While the event did attract huge viewership for Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it also projected Ahmedabad as a frontline city where an additional avenue for transportation could open.
However, hosting top international leaders in Gujarat could mean that PM Modi is likely to showcase Ahmedabad and its famous projects as his own model of development as Chief Minister.