Modi supporters arrive for Indian PM's Wembley rally


Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is set for a rock-star reception as tens of thousands of supporters have packed Wembley stadium for a huge rally.

Mr Modi will address up to 60,000 people gathered at the home of English football as he continues the first visit to the UK by an Indian prime minister for a decade.

The event comes after the Indian PM had lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace and attended further meetings with business leaders as part of a trade drive.

It has also been announced the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will go on tour of India next spring.

Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to join Mr Modi on stage at the Wembley extravaganza, which includes performances from Indian and British performers and a fireworks display that organisers claim is the UK's biggest.

Manoj Ladwa, a founding member of the Europe India Forum, which organised the event, said demand for tickets meant they could have filled another Wembley Stadium.

He said: "We started off looking at other venues that were 10,000, 15,000, but we realised the immense demand and the popularity of Prime Minister Modi.

"The only stadium that could accommodate Prime Minister Modi at this particular time is Wembley Stadium.

"We've got 60,000 people but we had at least 100,000 more people wanting to register."

Mr Ladwa said Mr Modi had a "vision for India" which had resulted in his huge popularity.

He said: "They see in Prime Minister Modi, especially after his tremendous election result last year, a man that is filled with hope and aspiration, and somebody who is decisive.

"In a country that has suffered a lot because of corruption and misadministration, Modi is regarded as someone who is a clean politician and is somebody who delivers."

Supporters draped in Indian flags and scarves chanted "Modi" as they walked along Wembley Way while some posed for pictures outside the famous stadium.

Suresh Bhojani, 37, from Bolton, said: "The development Mr Modi has done in the last 10 years, since he has been chief minister over there, has been unbelievable.

"We're proud of him. That's why we've come to support him for a better relationship with England."

Amit Dhruv, 34, from Watford, said: "It's a big day because we're here to celebrate the development of India and say thank you to the driver of that development, Mr Narendra Modi."

Mr Modi has faced protests during over his record as chief minister of Gujarat - including over riots in 2002 where more than a thousand Muslims were said to have died.

But Mr Dhruv said: "India is a democratic country and everybody has a right to protest. Just remember that India is a democratic country with a population of 1.3 billion. At any point in time, not everyone will be happy in that country."

His brother Rahul, 29, added: "He got the power a year and half ago, and he's already started changes to get brighter and more powerful."

Mr Modi's visit to Britain has seen the unveiling of £9 billion of commercial deals between the two countries.