iconimg Saturday, September 05, 2015

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 18, 2014
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and some Delhi Lok Sabha candidates attended a fund-raising dinner with about 100 traders, each of whom paid Rs. 20,000 per plate. From this exercise, AAP is expected to collect Rs. 20 lakh, which is its daily online donation collection on a good day.

Those AAP leaders who attended the dinner hosted at a club in south Delhi's Vasant Vihar were Manish Sisodia, Chandni Chowk nominee Ashutosh, New Delhi nominee Ashish Khetan, Shakoor Basti MLA and former health minister Satyendra Jain.

Kamal Bansal, AAP's traders' cell members, said, "We have extended invites to all seven party candidates. Some of them will be joining late."

However, at least two AAP candidates HT spoke to feigned ignorance about any such dinner.

Read: AAP's star campaigners in Delhi: Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas and Rakhi Birla

Before the dinner, traders had a question-answer session with AAP leaders. Trader Narendra Rathi said his community would support the party in all possible ways. The traders also put forward their expectations from the party. "AAP leaders essentially said the party will sit with traders and decide on issues with their consent. Traders from various associations were present at the dinner," said Bansal.

To woo the trading community, BJP's traditional vote bank, AAP when in power in Delhi had announced to simplify filing of the Value Added Tax, a long-standing demand by various traders' associations.

AAP has been part of such dinners in Mumbai, Pune and Banglore. Its Rs. 20,000-per person fund-raising dinner in Bangalore had yielded Rs. 50 lakh.

Read: Can AAP destabilise main political parties?

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