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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Donations dry up for crisis-ridden Aam Aadmi Party

Brajesh Kumar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 11, 2014
First Published: 08:28 IST(11/6/2014) | Last Updated: 17:19 IST(11/6/2014)

In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections whenever the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was in news, for good or bad reasons, funds came pouring in. 

From party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s detention in Gujarat, to his announcement to take on Narendra Modi from Varanasi in the Lok Sabha elections or people slapping him while campaigning in Delhi — AAP’s online donation graph went up.

Read: How face-off with BJP helps AAP make big gains

But not anymore.

Call it donor’s fatigue or their loss of faith in the party, the donations for the 18-month party has dried up and not even news of crisis in the fledgling political outfit gets them to loosen their purse strings.

On June 8, the day the rift between Kejriwal and senior party leader Yogendra Yadav played out in the media, the AAP could mop up a paltry Rs. 8,293 from its donors.

Read: After dissent, Kejriwal talks of AAP restructuring

Again when Kejriwal opted for jail in the Nitin Gadkari defamation case on May 21, the money that came in party’s coffers was Rs. 7.42 lakh. The next day on May 22 it went down to Rs. 5.62 lakh and dipped to Rs. 58,000 on May 23, the day he once again refused to pay the bail amount.
 
The two occasions marked a departure from earlier trends when such news would have got the party’s cash register ringing.

On April 4, when Kejriwal was slapped in Dakshinpuri area in south Delhi, the party received Rs. 1.46 crore as compared to Rs. 47.94 lakh the previous day. Similarly when Kejriwal was detained by the Gujarat police on March 5 and clashes broke out in Delhi between AAP and BJP supporters, the donations went up to Rs. 24.49 lakh from Rs. 8.57 lakh a day before.

On March 26, a day after Kejriwal announced his decision to take on Narendra Modi from Varanasi in the Lok Sabha elections, the party collected over a crore, up from Rs. 48 lakh on March 25. However the funds have dried up for the party after it faced setbacks in the Lok Sabha elections.

When election results were declared on May 16, the party received Rs. 22 lakh, and since then it has been a downhill trend. June has been particularly bad with donation figures in thousands (as compared to an average of Rs. 30 lakh a day in April) with an exception of June 10 when the party managed to notch up Rs. 1.38 lakh.


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