When AAP convener and former Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal visits Nagpur and Bangalore this week, supporters sitting down to dine with him would hand out cheques. The dinner would cost Rs 20,000 per person in Bangalore.
In Nagpur, AAP supporters are likely to dole out between Rs 8,000 and Rs 25,000, and the amount may touch Rs 1 lakh. The minimum was yet to be decided until Monday evening. The ‘Dinner with Kejriwal’ in Nagpur is likely to be held on Thursday and in Bangalore on March 15..
Over 200 have already signed in for participation in Bangalore. Some 300 people drawn largely from AAP support base in the IT sector are key source of funding for AAP candidates in Bangalore. The group, the Well Wishers of AAP forum, was founded to organize funds for the Delhi assembly elections, a member of the group said. The group runs http://www.wwaap.org.
The Nagpur group of AAP has decided Tuli International hotel as the venue. The Bangalore venue will be revealed by Wednesday evening.
Prajakta Atul, the AAP spokesperson in Nagpur, said: “We haven’t yet decided on minimum cut-off. It could be Rs 8,000 or Rs 25,000. We are going to appeal to donors to donate up to Rs 1 lakh.”
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Dr Radhakrishna, a surgeon and AAP member in Bangalore, said. “We as a group wanted to contribute to the party. We believe in money at the table not under the table. We want to use this opportunity when Arvind visits Bangalore.”
The fundraising will be transparent and based on three conditions, AAP national executive member Prithvi Reddy said. “Contributions have to be only through cheques, details will be updated on the party website and there will be no strings attached to donations,” he explained.
“Individuals who believe clean politics requires clean money can contribute,” he said.
One of the key drivers of the fundraiser in Bangalore is former Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan, the AAP candidate for Bangalore Central. “At present nearly 75 per cent of funding for elections comes from unknown sources. AAP is introducing new traditions,’’ he said.
“We have responses from people from all walks of life. People from rural districts, retired officials as well techies. Some who cannot travel to be part of the dinner have come forward to contribute,” said a WWAAP member who identified himself as Joe, a techie.
“It will be a very simple event,” he said.
The party is also launching ‘sponsor your candidate’ campaign. “In this campaign we will reach out to 2000 people in each constituency and ask them to contribute Rs 2000 each,” said Prithvi Reddy.
For the middle-class electorate, the party is introducing ‘Nanna Mana Dhana Aam Aadmi’ campaign. The party would distribute tokens, for a donation of Rs 50 each, along with an ‘I funded Aam Aadmi’ badge. In lower income households, it would collect Rs 10 each and give the badge and the ‘Aam Aadmi cap’.
Asked if it conforms to party ideology, Prajakta Atul said, “It’s a misconception AAP is only poor people’s party or party for poor people. We are not against rich people. We are here to change the corrupt system. And even business class are sufferers of corruption. So, we need to cater to them too.” Kejriwal will visit Chandrapur, Bhandara and Wardha on March 13 and hold a rally and public meeting at Nagpur on March 14. He will be in Bangalore the next day.
With inputs from Kaunain Sheriff M