Congress members to contribute Rs 250 every year to party fund | india | Hindustan Times
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Congress members to contribute Rs 250 every year to party fund

The funds-starved Congress has made it mandatory for each member to contribute Rs 250 per year to the party fund. Faced with its worst-ever financial drought, the party has said the contribution would be over and above the membership fee of Rs 5 charged by the party.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2015 01:31 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi

The funds-starved Congress has made it mandatory for each member to contribute Rs 250 per year to the party fund. Faced with its worst-ever financial drought, the party has said the contribution would be over and above the membership fee of Rs 5 charged by the party. The Congress seeks to raise approximately Rs 750 crore annually from around 3 crore members as a consequence of this move .

In a circular dated February 14 — a copy of which is with HT —party treasurer Motilal Vora told Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chiefs that funds collected would be distributed in a 75:25 ratio. While 75% of the funds received would go to the All India Congress Committee (AICC), the state units will keep the remaining 25%. “The PCC shall immediately send to the AICC its share of the contribution i.e. 75% and retain 25% with the PCC,” the circular said.

Several Congress candidates had admitted to the “severe fund crunch” in the party during the Lok Sabha elections last year, adding that they did not get a substantial amount to contest the polls. The crisis reportedly continued during assembly polls that followed.

Party functionaries blamed the paucity of funds on corporate houses moving away from the Congress.

“Many big business houses had sensed our defeat well in advance and swiftly switched over to the BJP,” an AICC functionary said.

The party had also reportedly taken overdrafts from various banks to put its finances in order but those funds and other reserves are now fast depleting. Despite the shortage of funds, Congress spent only Rs 200 crore less than the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. According to the expenditure reports submitted to the Election Commission by the two parties, BJP exhausted Rs 714 crore and went on to win 281 seats while the Congress spent Rs 516 crore but won mere 44 seats, its lowest ever tally in the lower House.

Reports about the financial crisis in the Congress had prompted political circles to question the role of fund managers and the status of donations and funds collected during the party’s 10-year rule at the Centre, and in many money-spinning states.

Giving the fund collection a different spin, the Congress circular says: “This has been done to simplify the procedure and make it more convenient for members to remember easily and make his/her contribution to the party fund.”