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Trump Jr. Blurs Line Between Business And Politics In India Trip

20 February 2018

Donald Trump Jr. kicked off a tour of India on Tuesday with praise for the country's business climate under Prime Minister Narendra Modi while facing questions about potential conflicts of interest.

Critics have accused Donald Trump Jr. of seeking to cash in on his First Family status by offering Indian property investors an exclusive "dinner and conversation" audience.

Apart from his meetings in national capital, the son of the US President is also slated to meet Indian investors and business leaders in Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Gurugram, reported The Washington Post.

Trump Jr is also expected to deliver a speech in India on "Reshaping Indo-Pacific Ties: The New Era of Cooperation" at a global business summit on Friday.

"Trump's company is literally selling access to the president's son overseas", said Jordan Libowitz, the communications director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

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The rest of the details of Donald Trump Jr.'s itinerary are hazy despite repeated emails to the Trump Organization and its Indian partner Tribeca.

Some people here say the Trump Tower newspaper ads were crass, since the average annual income for people in India is less than $2,000, making that luxury lifestyle far out of reach.

Trump scheduled to speak at the Global Business Summit in Delhi, which will be held on February 23 and 24.

British writer and historian Patrick French called it an "abominable invitation to dinner with Trump Jr".

Trump Jr. will also visit Kolkata, where the construction of a project with 137 luxury units will begin soon.

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It pointed to reports in Indian media that prices of apartments in Trump Organization branded developments in India had soared by up to 30 per cent since Trump took office.

The Trump Organization and its India partners did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Daniel S Markey, who worked on South Asia policy for the State Department during the George W Bush administration, said he was surprised by the involvement of Mr Trump Jr in an Indian business deal.

"Even if we would have been earning for our whole life, Trump Tower's lavishness will be out of reach", he said. In fact, he will launch two real estate projects one in Gurgaon near Delhi and the other in the eastern city of Kolkata.

"I had no idea that Trump built property around the world before this development was launched", said Hitesh Khanna, who is helping sell units at the Trump towers in Gurgaon through a local real estate brokerage firm.

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Trump Jr. Blurs Line Between Business And Politics In India Trip