Donald trump during the election trail claimed a strong affinity with India. However, after he became president he has met many world leaders but pointedly left out the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. He has now with a broad hint from India invited Narendra Modi for a meeting with him in Washington. This will take place on 26 June.Though Trump and Modi have spoken thrice on the telephone yet he has preferred meeting President Xi and other world leaders and significantly not met Putin and Modi .Not meeting Putin is understandable as Trump is being dogged by the Russian connection.

But not meeting Modi is difficult to understand in the light of growing strategic partnership with India from the time of Obama. Modi and Obama met 7 times and Modi considered Obama to be his friend.

Trump and India

Over the last few weeks, the perception of Trump seems to have changed. He ranted against India after he withdrew from the climate accord. He has also adversely commented on the H1B visa for Indian tech personnel and wants it severely curtailed. He has also drawn closer to China and in the bargain ignored India.

Different lifestyles

Modi also has a different lifestyle from Trump who has lived a life of fun and luxury. Modi is of humble origins and leads a spartan life and even fasts during the Hindu festival of Navratri for 9 days when during the day he doesn't drink even a glass of water.

Obama appreciated this aspect of Modi and during a formal dinner with Modi during the Navratri festival appreciated Modi not eating and drinking anything.

Get to know meeting

The meeting between the 2 leaders is thus more get to know each other. This is a formal visit and unlike last time when Modi had addressed a crowd at Maddison Park and also addressed both houses of Congress.

This time the visit is low key and both leaders could be a little uncomfortable.

Modi will have a one to one meeting with Trump. He is an unpredictable man and has picked up feuds with many. He is also under pressure with allegations of the Russian connection and in an irritated mood. This is not the best time to meet him but Modi having delayed a meeting has now swallowed his pride and made the overture to meet the president.

The future

Modi will bring up the question H1B visa and terrorism emanating from Pakistan. How receptive Trump is will depend on his mood. He has not strictly followed the rule book of what he stated during the election campaign. On many issues, he has reversed his opinion. It will be interesting to watch how Modi and Trump react to each other. All said and done Trump will not be able to ignore India which is a powerful nation in SE Asia.