Online trolls make Re 1 donations

Confronted with the controversies over Somnath Bharti and the dharna that followed, the Aam Aadmi Party’s online donations saw some lean days. Many internet trolls, however, are making Re 1 contributions to lift the party’s moral.

“Are AAP Donations Hit by Anarchy Too?” tweeted Kiran Bedi on Thursday. She was referring to a newspaper article which argued that the AAP’s online donation has taken a plunge.

The irate party supporters, upset with the fellow anti-corruption crusader-turned-critique of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his style of governance, took her on with a hashtag, ‘YoBediSoJealous’.

Soon the trolls ensured that the hashtag was trending and some thanked Bedi for making them donate again. Over 100 people, tweaked their names while making donations online, as a mark of dissent.

A contribution of Re 1 came from Pune who changed his name to “I DECIDED DONT EAT VADA PAV (BEDI JALI RE JALI)”, an indication that the person had to sacrifice a meal of Vada Pav in retort to Bedi’s “jealous” remarks. Others donated by adding suffix, ‘YoBediSoJealous’ to their names, while some donors had salacious connotation in their names. “While filling forms, people can change names. There is no easy way to control such things. If we complicate the procedure, it will deter people from making contribution,” said Ankit Lal, who manages information technology for the party, stressing that it is difficult to control ‘people’s emotion’.

Lal said his party gets actual names from the banks to properly maintain their balance sheet.

Not all donations were as meagre as Re 1, the party also received several contributions of Rs 2,014 with changed names — as a possible reiteration of their support for the AAP in this new year.

All the tweaked names with the word ‘Bedi’ in it, added up more than Rs 25,000 to the party’s fund in less than two days, according to the website aaptrends.com. After a number of stories on decreasing AAP donations, the party on Thursday received a donation of more than Rs 8 lakh through online donations.

But on the subsequent day, the enthusiasm of supporters slowed down. The party managed to get Rs 3 lakh, just a little over the party’s average donation since January 17.

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