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AAP's donation box is no more jingling

January 28, 2014 09:25 IST

AAP's donation box is no more jingling

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Somesh Jha

The average weekly donation for the party is consistently declining, says Somesh Jha

The Aam Aadmi Party is seeing a fall in average donations a week.

The AAP, which plans to record donations of Rs 200 crore to enable it to finance and contest the coming Lok Sabha elections, has received funding of Rs 6.83 crore so far.

While the party secured Rs 1.4 crore in the week started December 12, when the donation drive for the national elections began, it got only Rs 47 lakh in the week ended January 23 this year.

In the second week of the donation drive (December 20-27), donations rose to Rs 1.48 crore. In the first week of January, when the party won the vote of confidence in the Delhi assembly, these surged to about Rs 1.94 crore. During this time, the party announced various populist measures such as providing free drinking water, subsidies on electricity, etc.

However, in the second week this year, it drew criticism from some sections of society.

Party leader Prashant Bhushan had sought a referendum in Jammu & Kashmir on whether the citizens there wanted the army to be deployed for internal security. Also, splits were visible within the party, with AAP Member of Legislative Assembly Vinod Kumar Binny accusing the party of deviating from its promises.

However, as the membership drive was alive, the party received Rs 89.5 lakh in donations.

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Somesh Jha

In the week ended January 23, Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti sparked off a controversy when he carried out a raid in south Delhi, alleging a drugs and prostitution racket there. That week, the party got donations of Rs 47 lakh.

Later, AAP members, led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, staged a dharna outside the Rail Bhawan, demanding suspension of three policemen who refused to obey Bharti’s orders.

Non-resident Indians, who earlier supported the party with enthusiasm and zeal, are now taking a step back, too.

In the first week of January, NRI donations comprised 27.8 per cent of the total donations; in the week ended January 23, only 17 per cent of the donations were from NRIs.

Not only has the rate of donations from NRIs seen a fall, social networks now have a few anti-AAP community pages. Facebook page ‘I am sorry I voted for AAP’ is run by Ellapparaj Ravi, an Indian from New Zealand.

“Yes, I established this page after doing detailed research with a lot of friends and strangers about the recent happening in India. We voted for AAP and now, we regret our decision,” the page says.

Another Facebook page, ‘IITians against AAP’, said to be run by those studying at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Kharagpur, Kejriwal’s alma mater), criticises Kejriwal’s latest dharna and its support to the Congress party.

“People have now started analysing him, instead of blindly believing in him. He is not losing popularity; the majority of students continue to support him and his party,” said Siddharth Aggarwal, a fourth-year student at IIT-Kharagpur.




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