Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday launched a nationwide monthly donation drive for his cash-starved Aam Aadmi Party, reported The Indian Express. Kejriwal said there was a need to adopt the financial model of the Left parties that are run primarily by donations from its workers and volunteers.
“It is for the first time in history that a party is ‘kangaal’ [bankrupt] and the government is cash-rich,” said Kejriwal, according to the Hindustan Times. “That is because we run on your funds. We do not depend on money from corrupt millionaires.” He appealed to citizens to donate so that the government could provide better schools, infrastructure, medical facilities and mohalla clinics.
Kejriwal launched a dedicated phone number for the donation drive and said it will work along the lines of the doorstep delivery scheme, in which two private companies have been hired to collect money. The Aam Aadmi Party leader also promised that his family, including his father, wife and daughter, will collectively donate Rs 20,500 to the party every month. The party’s MPs and MLAs will make door-to-door visits in their areas to seek donations.
Apart from the Lok Sabha elections, the party will contest the Assembly elections in Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh later this year.
Last month, the Election Commission issued a showcause notice to the party asking it to explain alleged discrepancies in the donations it received in the 2014-’15 financial year. The poll panel had said that hawala transactions had been “wrongly disclosed as voluntary donations”.
After the poll panel’s notice, the party said it will no longer publish the donors’ list to ensure the privacy and safety of its supporters. The party claimed there have been several complaints from donors, both in India and foreign countries, being harassed by members of Opposition parties, especially before elections.