Ahead of LS polls, parties turn to crowdfunding

Last week, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had launched a nationwide crowdfunding initiative to raise funds for the next year's Lok Sabha elections.

Gearing up for the Lok Sabha elections, political parties are increasingly taking the crowdfunding route to reach out to the electorate to enlist support as well as raise funds.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had appealed to the people to fund its campaign for the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections as well as its subsequent electoral campaigns.

The Congress also tested the crowdfunding waters by appealing to the voters to fund its campaign against the BJP in the keenly fought Karnataka elections.

Now, the BJP too has joined the bandwagon seeking donations ranging from as low as Rs 5 to a maximum of Rs 1,000 on the Narendra Modi App.

“Your small donation can make a big difference in making 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat',” the BJP said appealing for donations.

“I have contributed Rs 1,000 through this App. It is my appeal to BJP workers, supporters and well wishers to back this initiative to ensure probity in public life,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.

Last week, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had launched a nationwide crowdfunding initiative to raise funds for the next year's Lok Sabha elections.

“We don’t take donations from corrupt industrialists. There was no proper structure before this. This is going to be a model for the rest of the world,” Kejriwal said, launching the donation drive, "Aap Ka Daan, Rashtra Ka Nirmaan" (your donation will develop the nation).

The AAP has asked volunteers to give names of five people who will donate a minimum of Rs 100 every month. It has also launched a phone number through which people can reach out to the party to donate.

The Congress had launched its 40-day membership-cum-crowdfunding drive on October 2.

Congress members are visiting homes with donation vouchers containing of Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 to raise funds for the party to take on a financially well-entrenched BJP.

According to a study by non-profit Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) seven national parties received Rs 710.80 crore from “unknown sources” during 2016-17.

The total donations above Rs 20,000 declared by the seven national parties was Rs 589.38 crore from 2,123 donors (both individual and corporate).

The BJP declared a total of Rs 532.27 crore from 1,194 donations while the Congress declared receiving Rs 41.90 crore from 599 donations.

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Ahead of LS polls, parties turn to crowdfunding

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