Cleveland: An Indian-American supporter of US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, has announced he has raised $2 million for the Trump Victory Fund and holds a mega rally with an estimated 50,000 people in support of the real estate tycoon from New York.
Chicago-based Shalabh Kumar, who heads the Republican Hindu Council (RCH) told a group of Indian reporters on Thursday that he and his family have already donated $1.1 million to the Trump Campaign. He is among the top 14 donors for the Trump campaign. "The Kumar family in total would contribute $2 million for the Trump Campaign and the Republican Party. It is in the best interest of the India US relationship that I have decided to work for the victory of Trump in the November general elections," he said.
Kumar said he is planning to hold a mega rally sometime in September in the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to showcase the support of Indian Americans for Trump.
He met the Republican presidential nominee and claimed that Trump's presidency would take India-US relationship to new heights. "Under a Trump presidency, forget about F-16 to Pakistan," he said.
Kumar plans to travel to India to invite some of the popular Bollywood stars for the Trump rally. "I want to invite Amitabh Bachchhan and Priyanka Chopra for the rally," he said as he maintained silence when asked if Trump would be attending the rally.
Trump, he said, wants to build a strong relationship with India. "He and (Narendra) Modi are a natural fit. They would both work together to make the world safe and secure. I am also confident that they would work together to increase bilateral trade between the two countries. We should set our goal to $500 billion as India-US bilateral trade," he said.
Kumar first came into limelight a few years ago, when he took a Congressional delegation to meet the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The Congressional delegation did meet Modi, but his approach to take along a group of Indian American businessmen by charging money from them generated controversy in both India and the US.
However, Kumar has denied the allegations. Early in 2016, with the help of Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, he established the Republican Hindu Coalition, set up on the pattern of Republican Jewish Coalition.