Source: News Bharati English02 Apr 2017 14:35:58

Washington, Apr 2: Us President Donald Trump is looking forward to hosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the latter travels to the US late this year.

In a telephonic conversation, President Trump has expressed his support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic reform agenda and emphasised his great respect for the people of India.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump congratulated PM Modi on his success in the recent assembly polls.

Following the elections held in five states that begun on February 4 and ended on March 9 after polling was rescheduled on some seats, Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the government in four states: Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. It, however, lost Punjab to main rival Congress after the results were announced on March 11.

Anchored mainly by Modi and his aide Amit Shah, the BJP juggernaut rolled on in UP and in the neighbouring state of Uttarakhand, bagging three-fourth majority.

The BJP returned to power in the politically-crucial state of UP after a gap of 15 years during which regional parties such as the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party held sway.

Goa and Manipur had hung assemblies after the polls, but the BJP managed to form the government with the support of other parties.

The elections in the five states had turned into a virtual referendum on Modi's popularity following his decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

Previously, Modi and Trump talked by phone on January 24, when they had resolved to stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" in the global fight against terrorism and for defence and security.

According to a White House statement then, Trump had "emphasised that the US considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world."

The two leaders had exchanged invitations for visits. "President Trump looked forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in the US later this year," the statement said.

Prime Minister Modi was the fifth foreign leader Trump had spoken to on phone after he was sworn-in as the US president on January 20.

He had then spoken to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canada's Justin Trudeau, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

After his surprise victory in the November 8 elections in the US, Modi was among the first world leaders to congratulate Trump.

And during the gruelling election campaign, India and Israel were the two prominent countries Trump spoke of strengthening ties if he were to become the president.