Rs 18 lakh and counting: AAP receives a windfall after Kejriwal seeks donations to ‘keep politics clean’

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal quoted Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) statistics to criticise political bigwigs Congress, BJP over anonymous donations. The appeal comes ahead of assembly elections in Gujarat and Rajasthan
Delhi chief minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal with his colleagues in New Delhi.(HT file)
Delhi chief minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal with his colleagues in New Delhi.(HT file)
Updated on Oct 18, 2017 03:48 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

The Aam Aadmi Party received Rs 18 lakh within hours of its national convener Arvind Kejriwal issuing an appeal for donations “to help keep the idea of a clean alternate politics alive”, raking in more in a day than it had in over a fortnight since the beginning of October.

The donations were triggered by the Delhi’s chief minister’s e-mail to donors in which he quoted figures released recently by a political watchdog to hit out at his rivals over dodgy funding. He also outlined challenges that his party faced due to lack of money.

Kejriwal’s message, issued in an email sent to donors on Dhanteras on Tuesday, led to fresh donations of Rs 14.72 lakh within a day, with more than 1,830 people responding. The lowest contribution was Rs 10, and the highest Rs 1 lakh. On Wednesday, the party received Rs 4.61 lakh from 641 donors till 2 pm.

Between October 1 and 16, the party received Rs 13. 23 Lakh from 835 donors. It has a committed group of around 400 donors who contribute on a monthly basis.

In the appeal, Kejriwal quoted recently issued statistics by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) to hit out at the BJP and the Congress. The appeal comes ahead of assembly elections in Gujarat and Rajasthan and local polls in Uttar Pradesh where the party is testing the waters.

“According to the ADR report, 80% of political funding of BJP and Congress is from unknown sources. It creates a government with vested interests, and its loyalty is always leaning towards their funding agencies instead of the welfare of aam aadmis like us. This is probably why majority of our citizens are struggling for basic human necessities even after 70 years of independence,” it said.

“AAP as an organization constantly struggles to address - and hence writing this email - how to meet our political and organizational expenses. Many of you may think that with 4 MPs, 86 MLAs, 52 councillors, AAP should have no crunch for money to run a party,” Kejriwal’s mail said.

The appeal became a topic of discussion on social media with the hashtag #CleanPoliticsThisDiwali trending on Twitter.

The message cited AAP government’s performance in Delhi, where it claimed to have revolutionised the Indian political space with its commitment to good governance.

“In Delhi, AAP has brought major transformation in education and health care in just two-and-a-half years. It is time for AAP to innovate in the field of political funding. We have to show to the rest of political parties that we can manage our organizational and political expenses without compromising on our integrity, commitments and values,” it said.

The message mentions an “Outreach Team” to connect, communicate and engage with donors.

“This team will reach out to you to seek your support. I urge you to join the outreach team’s efforts to solve the biggest source of corruption in India – political funding. All it will take is Rs 100 from each and every one of us,” the letter signs off.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gulam Jeelani writes on politics, national affairs and socio-economic issues for Hindustan Times. A journalist for seven years, he worked in Lucknow and Srinagar, before moving to New Delhi.

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