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Laloo to cost only Rs 1.21 lakh

October 19, 2003 20:06 IST

Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav has thought up a unique way to cash in on his popularity. He has made it mandatory for his supporters to hand over a minimum of Rs 1.21 lakh towards the party fund if they want him to attend programmes they organise.

He has also decided not to accept more than five garlands from supporters. The others would have to pay in cash an amount equal to the value of a garland.

"Since RJD is a party of the poor, I have decided to raise funds in this way for meeting the expenses of the next Lok Sabha polls," Laloo told PTI on Sunday. "RJD does not have the support of any industrial house or big businessmen. We have to depend on our own workers and supporters to raise money for contesting polls.

"Instead of spending money on garlanding me, party workers should donate money for strengthening the RJD financially," he said.

Hailing Yadav's innovative idea, newly elected RJD Bihar president Abdul Bari Siddiqui, a minister in the Rabri Devi cabinet, clarified that the new condition was meant only for raising party funds and applicable only for RJD public meetings and not for Laloo Yadav's private engagements.

Siddiqui said that district party leaders had been sent receipt books (denominations of Rs 5, 50, 100 and 500) to collect contributions from party workers and supporters. Ministers, MPs and legislators have been directed to pay Rs 1,100 per month for enriching the party coffers, he said.

Listing the advantages of the technique, he said the programme would facilitate RJD leaders and workers to come in contact with a large number of people while collecting contributions.

All district party presidents had been informed about the new conditions. The RJD supremo would begin a tour of all 38 districts of the state after Chhath, a popular religious festival in the state, in October end.

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