The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 12 , 2014
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Dinner to raise funds for AAP


Bangalore, March 11: The Aam Aadmi Party will organise American-style fundraisers in India.

The party will hold the first such ticketed events in Nagpur and Bangalore this week. In Nagpur, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal will host a dinner for donors who contribute Rs 10,000 each.

In Bangalore, a far bigger show is expected to unfold with each donor expected to pay Rs 20,000. The brainchild of V. Balakrishnan, a recent AAP entrant and one of the founding members of Infosys, the event is expected to attract at least 3,000 to 4,000 donors.

While the venue is yet to be decided, the party said media would be kept at bay at the event to be addressed by Kejriwal.

Fundraising dinners are common in the US. The venues in the US are usually divided into “platinum”, “gold” and “silver” zones on the basis of accessibility to the candidate. Donors who pay up for the platinum zone expect to be allowed to rub shoulders with the candidate and pose for pictures.

It is not clear if Kejriwal will pose with the eager donors of Bangalore. The BJP had introduced a fee-based system for some of those attending Narendra Modi’s rallies.

“Around 75 per cent of funds of other political parties come from unknown sources. That’s the start of corruption,” Balakrishnan told reporters after being nominated to contest from the Bangalore Central Lok Sabha seat.

“The AAP is going to raise funds in an entirely open system to contest with no considerations such as religion or caste,” he added. “Any corporation will tell you the cost of operation goes up by at least 25 per cent due to corruption.”

While the fundraiser was his idea, Balakrishnan said it was not possible to predict how much money would be raised.

Karnataka AAP core committee member Prithvi Reddy said the party already had in its coffers between Rs 12 and 14 crore. “We need more money, not to buy votes but to help us in the nationwide campaign and publicity in the constituencies. But we insist that the money should be clean and transparent. We will post the donor names on our website,” Reddy said.