With Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to visit Punjab again on March 15, his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to host a fund-raising lunch on the occasion.
It has sent more than 300 invites to various industrialists and prominent personalities of the city for the lunch to be organised on Sunday in Hotel Ranbir Classic on the Amritsar road. The reserved fee per plate is Rs 5,000, but the party has left it to the guests, if they want to contribute more. State party affairs in-charge Sanjay Singh, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Maan, state convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur, and national organisational in-charge Durgesh Pathak will be among the hosts.
“We have sent invites to many personalities, but it’s an open invitation to all who want to contribute to the party,” said party’s Jalandhar Lok Sabha observer Rajiv Chaudhary, adding: “We expect a gathering of 200 to 240 people.” He said there was a great enthusiasm among the city traders and prominent personalities regarding the lunch. “It’s the best way to collect funds in a fair and transparent manner. The AAP does not believe in bullying the industrialists or traders for donation,” said Chaudhary.
In the evening, the AAP leaders would host a fundraising dinner in Hoshiarpur, where at least 200 personalities are invited. It’s for the first time that the AAP will collect money by organising this programme in Doaba. So far, these events were hosted in the Malwa region only. These meetings and fundraising exercises hold great importance in the wake of Kejriwal’s scheduled visit to Dalit-dominated Doaba on March 15.
Wooing Dalits, journalists
With eye on Dalit votes, the AAP chief will visit family of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) founder late Kanshi Ram in Rupnagar district and also go to Dera Sachkhand Ballan to meet its head, Sant Niranjan Dass. He will stay there for more than an hour in a closed-door meeting with the head. Sources said he would appeal the dera head to support the party in Punjab for “the better future of the Ravidassia community”. The dera holds great sway among the community.
The party is in touch with prominent Dalit and Hindu leaders of Doaba, including its popular journalises, whom it is exhorting to join the AAP.