The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday launched a donation drive to up party funds, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Party chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal urged volunteers and supporters to donate funds to the “kangaal” (bankrupt) party.
Speaking to AAP workers and supporters at Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium, Kejriwal launched a mobile number — 9871010101 — for people to use to donate to the party, News18 reported.
“It is for the first time in history that a party is kangaal, and the government is cash-rich. That is because we run on your funds. We do not depend on money from corrupt millionaires,” Kejriwal was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times, while launching the nationwide crowdsourcing campaign, ‘AAP ka Daan, Rashtra ka Nirmaan‘.
“There are elections in the next two years. We do not have money. The party needs money. All working volunteers must contribute at least Rs 100 per month. Your family members who earn have to contribute,” the Delhi chief minister said, while addressing a gathering of around 1,000 AAP workers from the national capital.
आप का दान, करेगा राष्ट्र निर्माण !
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) October 17, 2018
According to The Indian Express, Kejriwal also pledged that his family, including his wife, daughter and father, will collectively donate Rs 20,500 to the party every month.
The donation appeal comes at a time the Election Commission has questioned AAP’s funding and alleged concealment of donations and money coming through the “hawala” route.
While senior AAP leaders like Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, Satyendra Jain, Atishi, ND Gupta, Pankaj Gupta and Raghav Chadha were present at the event, Delhi minister Kailash Gahlot, who was raided by the Income Tax Department, was absent from the event, News18 reported.
Kejriwal mentioned the raids on Gahlot in his speech, saying that central government agencies had also raided the offices of Sisodia and Jain in the past, The Indian Express reported. “They didn’t unearth anything. Now they have targeted poor Gahlot. I think Gopal Rai should brace himself for the next one,” Kejriwal added.