Superfan prays to Trump idol ahead of US President's India visit

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US President Donald Trump vowed to "drain the swamp" of lobbyists and elites in Washington DC Now, one Indian city is racing to clean up a stagnant river as he prepares to visit.
Bussa Krishna, a fan of US President Donald Trump, offers prayers to a statue of Trump at his house in Konney village in the southern state of Telangana, India, Feb 14, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

JANGAON, INDIA (AFP) - Die-hard Donald Trump fan Bussa Krishna is celebrating the visit of his hero to India next week the only way he knows how - offering prayers to a life-sized idol of the US President in his home.

The 33-year-old has built the statue - where he performs the Hindu prayer ritual "pooja" usually meant for deities - in the backyard of his house in Jangaon district in India's southern state of Telangana.

"Trump sir, you are my god," the devotee told AFP after performing the pooja.

"Welcome to India. I am so happy."

Mr Trump and his wife Melania are due to visit India and hold meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a high-profile two-day trip from Feb 24.

On his Facebook and Instagram accounts, Mr Krishna posts images of himself wearing a blue or red T-shirt with the name Trump emblazoned on its front and back and carrying a framed photo of the American leader.

"I am praying to God to see that I meet my 'god' at least once," Mr Krishna told local newspaper Telangana Today last year.

Mr Trump has built up a fan base in India among some Hindu nationalists drawn to his hardline rhetoric towards Muslims.

He is expected to be feted by some 110,000 people in Modi's home state of Gujarat when he inaugurates the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel stadium, the world's biggest cricket venue, in a "Namaste Trump" rally.

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