The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said on 27 May 2017 that it is planning to contest assembly elections next year in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (combined population: over 14 crore), but is facing a “shortage of money”.
“Party leaders said the coffers are dry after the campaigns in Punjab and Delhi,” said a report in The Indian Express.
“Our opponents are going after all our donors, even those who donate Re 1. It has become very tough,” a leader said.
Imagine the manpower and infrastructure that AAP’s “opponents” will need in “going after” millions of rickshaw-wallahs, hawkers, clerks, teachers, nurses and other ordinary folk who want to slip Rs one or two or more into the hands of a local party guy who is working hard to bring ‘Swaraj’ in India.
The AAP calls itself the “only hope” in a country of 1.3 billion people of a corruption-free government, having presence in all states and having already contested Lok Sabha or assembly elections in great many of them.
The party had said its membership crossed one crore as far back as in January 2014 and continues to claim big public support, not to mention actual votes that were allegedly discounted because of tampering of electronic voter machines (EVMs).
An AAP leader was quoted in The Indian Express report as saying that the party has held “big meetings” in 27 of the 50 districts of Madhya Pradesh (population: 7.3 crore) where it intends to contest assembly elections next year.
Keeping in mind that the AAP has so far won handsome electoral support and parliamentary/assembly seats in Punjab and Delhi with combined population of about 4.7 crore, here is a simple calculation.
A supporter base of just two crore across the entire country, contributing a mere Rs 10 a month each should put a cool Rs 20 crore into AAP’s coffers every month.
So where are those millions of Aam Aadmis who AAP claims view it as their only hope of a corruption-free India and where are those crores of rupees they should have been contributing to the cause of ‘Swaraj’?
We haven’t yet begun to consider the big donations such as Rs two crore that a Delhi-based businessman Mukesh Kumar claimed he donated to the AAP (which according to sacked minister Kapil Mishra was an alibi for illicit payments flowing into the party).
And we haven’t yet begun to consider the big donations AAP receives from abroad, let alone the question as to why on earth an ‘Aam Aadmi’ party has to rely, like the corrupt ‘Khas Aadmi’ parties, on foreign funding to get going.
How does AAP reconcile its claim that it has handsome public support with its claim that it has been running out of funds?
What became of the promise that millions of Aam Aadmis can very well support a political party keeping on the straight and narrow?
What became of Arvind Kejriwal’s publicly voiced fears that foreign powers can any day buy parliamentary seats in India and control government?
Isn’t one justified in giving credence to Kapil Mishra’s allegation that visits by AAP leaders to the US, Canada, Germany, Russia, and other countries hold deep secrets?
Doesn’t AAP’s conduct so far also go some distance in explaining the alleged scams in Delhi government led by Chief Minister Kejriwal?
By the way, The Indian Express report also says: “The list of donors or donation trends have been missing from the AAP website for almost a year.”
The AAP leader the reporter spoke to “did not explain why donation trends are not being made public.”