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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Weak response to Congress fund-raising campaign in Maharashtra

Against its target of at least Rs 2.5 crore per district set under its Jan Sampark Ahiyaan, the collection, barring a few parts of Mumbai and Pune, was below Rs 2 lakh, while it was much less than that in rural areas, according to a party leader.

mumbai Updated: Feb 25, 2019 07:41 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Under  its Jan Sampark Abhiyan, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) had late last year directed  party workers to undertake an outreach programme in which they were to visit every household in their constituencies.
Under its Jan Sampark Abhiyan, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) had late last year directed party workers to undertake an outreach programme in which they were to visit every household in their constituencies. (Picture for representation)
         

Most districts in the rural areas and some from the urban parts of the state saw a lukewarm response to the Congress’s fund-collection drive. Against its target of at least Rs 2.5 crore per district set under its Jan Sampark Ahiyaan, the collection, barring a few parts of Mumbai and Pune, was below Rs 2 lakh, while it was much less than that in rural areas, according to a party leader.

Under its Jan Sampark Abhiyan, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) had late last year directed party workers to undertake an outreach programme in which they were to visit every household in their constituencies. The party had distributed donation slips of Rs 11,000 per polling booth, expecting party workers to reach out to 300 households in their respective areas.

Besides highlighting the ‘failures’ of the Narendra Modi-led central government through pamphlets workers were expected collect funds in the denominations of Rs 100 to Rs 1000 through the slips. With every district having more than 2,000 polling booths, each district was expected to collect at least Rs 2.5 crore. Maharashtra has 95,473 booths.

“Among various reasons for the poor response, party workers are citing other election-related responsibilities, the financial crunch faced by villagers in the wake of drought and the lack of a fund-raising tradition in the party,” said a leader.

A Mumbai leader said district-level workers are not keen in collecting funds and even lack of motivation by their local leaders has resulted in the poor response.

Suresh Shetty, a senior Congress leader in-charge of the drive, said, “‘We have appointed observers from the state unit to ensure smooth implementation . It has been slowed down because of other election works, but we are sure we will achieve the target,” he said. By rolling out the idea of collection of funds, the Congress leadership, wanted to establish a direct connect with the voters. Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, said, “It is true that the pace of the drive is not as desired, but it will pick up gradually.”

First Published: Feb 25, 2019 05:48 IST

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