CPI’s Begusarai candidate Kanhaiya Kumar has so far collected Rs 31 lakh via crowdfunding from about 2,400 people across the country. The maximum contribution he has received was Rs 5 lakh from a former publisher, and around 1,500 contributions ranged between Rs 100 and Rs 150. The fund collection is being done through the crowdfunding platform Our Democracy.
The crowdfunding exercise will be discontinued after Rs 70 lakh has been collected – the maximum permissible expenses limit as per the Election Commission of India.
Satya Narain Singh, secretary of CPI’s unit, told The Indian Express, “We have always depended for contribution from common people. Kanhaiya has digitised our old system of fund collection and it has worked well. We got an overwhelming response across the country. We we have said no to foreign funding.”
Founder of ‘Our Democracy’, Bilal Zaidi told The Indian Express, “We launched the fund collection for Kanhaiya on March 26 and collected Rs 30 lakh on the first day. We have so far collected Rs 31 lakh. The server has been down for a while.”
Zaidi said the system of crowdfunding had been fully transparent, with Our Democracy seeking full details of the donors.
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“Besides Kanhaiya, we have received request from an Independent candidate from Ara and another from Kishanganj. At the national level, we have been running 22 crowdfunding campaigns, including (that of) Congress Nagpur candidate Nana Patole and AAP Delhi candidate Atishi,” said Zaidi.