â€˜Business interests may tilt Trumpâ€™s foreign policyâ€™
The Trump Organisation has at least three projects in progress in India â€“ In Pune, Mumbai and Gurgaon, says Newsweek report.
Donald Trumpâ€™s interests in real estate in India has surfaced as a new controversy in the U.S presidential campaign after a Newsweek reportage detailed the Republican candidateâ€™s overseas ventures and questioned his ability to hold American national interest above his business interests.
The Trump Organisation, which has a business model of licencing its brand to real estate developers around the world, has at least three projects in progress in India â€“ In Pune, Mumbai and Gurgaon. According to the Newsweek report, the candidateâ€™s son Donald Trump. Jr met former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithivraj Chavan for regulatory relaxations in the Pune project in 2011. â€œâ€¦.the powerful politician refused to make an exception for the Trump Organization. It would be extremely difficult for a foreign politician to make that call if he were speaking to the son of the president of the United States.â€
The report then goes on to ask: â€œâ€¦.if Trump takes a hard line with Pakistan, will it be for Americaâ€™s strategic interests or to appease Indian government officials who might jeopardize his profits from Trump Towers Pune?.â€
Seizing the opportunity, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted a series of questions on how Mr. Trumpâ€™s business interests may prevent him from being truthful to his office if elected President. â€œWith business ties to politically-connected Indian developers, how can you conduct foreign policy that puts the U.S. above your profits?â€ she asked.
The 22-floor Trump Towers Pune is licenced to Panchshil Realty. The Chordia family that owns Panchshil is close to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar, the report said. Indian authorities have launched an investigation into the project for discrepancies in the land records possessed by the company.
The Mumbai project is run by Lodha Group, while the latest one in Gurgaon is run by Irea. A group 500 investors are involved in the project, which is headed by Madhukar Tulsi. The report also names BJP leader Sudhanashu Mittal as having links with the group, but that is not proven.
Russia, UAE, Ukraine, Turkey and South Korea are among the countries that Mr. Trump has business links. During the primary debates, Mr. Trump had faced questions regarding conflict of interest if elected. While he has said he will have nothing to do with his businesses if elected President, it may not be sufficient.