Following Rs 90 lakh collected in Mumbai on Thursday, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal will interact with a group of traders over lunch in Connaught Place to raise funds for the upcoming Delhi elections.
The party is hosting the event on Sunday to woo the trading community, a crucial vote bank, and raise funds to ‘at least remain visible’ in the face of a likely publicity blitz by BJP. Senior AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Ashutosh and Pankaj Gupta will also be at the lunch with a base price of Rs 20,000 per plate.
About 125 traders are likely to join AAP leaders, but the number could go up. “Mumbai was a successful experiment. We raised Rs 21 lakh during the day. Then Kejriwal met supporters over dinner which fetched an additional Rs 69 lakh,” said a senior AAP leader.
The party sells ‘Rs 20,000 per plate’ passes for such a dinner or lunch, but a lot of money is also raised through voluntary donations amid discussions on strategy or concerns. “We expect the maiden Delhi event---being held by our traders’ wing---for the coming elections to raise Rs 50 lakh,” he said.
AAP will hold more such events, including those planned in Bengaluru and Kolkata. AAP leaders such as Kumar Vishwash, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav will also be playing host. “AAP’s Maharashtra unit alone has a target of raising Rs 5 crore over the next two months through reach-out drives,” AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon told HT.
After a prolonged drought, online donations to the party recently peaked. The party received Rs 14.42 lakh on November 25. It went up to Rs 28.82 lakh the next day, AAP’s second foundation day.
This month the party has got Rs 1,01,82,280 from 5,659 donors. For the 2013 assembly elections, the party had received Rs 20 crore between November 2012 and November 2013.