PLANS: David Cameron (left) and Narendra Modi met during the G20 summit in Australia last year
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is likely to make his maiden visit to Britain on his way to Turkey to attend the G20 leaders’ summit in Antalya scheduled for November 15 and 16, sources have said.
Modi will stop over in London for three days around November 12, when he will meet prime minister David Cameron. The UK and India’s foreign offices were working out the possibility for him to also meet the Queen, the sources added.
One of the events being planned during the trip is a Madison Square Garden-style meet at Wembley Stadium. Modi’s address to Indian Americans at New York’s iconic venue was a highlight of the Indian leader’s US visit last year.
Indians are now UK’s largest ethnic community, with a large section of them being from Gujarat.
Modi was expected to visit London to inaugurate the Mahatma Gandhi statue at Britain’s parliament square earlier this year, but sources said that the Indian prime minister cancelled his plans because the UK was gearing up to hold general elections in May.
Talking about that decision, the longest-serving Indian origin MP in the UK, Keith Vaz, said: “He had rightly decided that, during the period before the general election, it was best that he didn’t visit the UK. It would not have been appropriate given the importance of the Indian diaspora vote in Britain. Should the new government keep up their positive record of engagement between UK and India and confirm Modi’s first official visit, they would have done very well for the Anglo-Indian relationship.”