Narendra Modi's Gujarat starves Arvind Kejriwal's AAP of funds

Written by PTI | Ahmedabad | Updated: Mar 5 2014, 03:59am hrs
If funds donated are any indicator of popularity, then the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) fund-raising drive before Lok Sabha elections has received a poor response in Gujarat.

Compared to funds collected from other states, the Gujarat unit of the AAP ranked eighth and when average donations are taken into account it stands 12th.

"From December 12 to March 4, 1,740 people in Gujarat donated Rs 18,71,876, which puts the state in the eighth rank in the donation list of all states and union territories," according to AAP data.

While he did not deny lesser donations from Gujarat, AAP's Gujarat treasurer said that people can support the party in various other ways.

"I accept that in fund collection, Gujarat lags behind other states, but people are coming to our office and extending their support. It can be in terms of money or time," AAP state treasurer Naman Doshi said.

"Delhi, where AAP came to the power for the first time, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu are ahead of Gujarat," according to AAP data.

As per AAP data, Rs 1.72 crore from Delhi, Rs 1.57 crore from Uttar Pradesh, Rs 1.44 crore from Maharashtra, Rs 76.68 lakh from Karnataka, Rs 35.79 from Haryana, Rs 33.59 from Andhra Pradesh and Rs 24.63 lakh Tamil Nadu were donated to AAP accounts.

Gujarat is twelfth when it came to average donations, since the state has donated an average Rs 1,076 per person since December last year, as per data uploaded on a daily basis on AAP's website.

Gujarat is followed by Delhi (Rs 2,936), UP (Rs 2,625), Maharashtra (Rs 2,108), Karnataka (Rs 1,779), Haryana (Rs 1,324), Andhra Pradesh (Rs 1,278), Goa (Rs 1,998), Puducherry (Rs 4,381) and Tamil Nadu (Rs 1,099).

"If we need more money we will ask people to donate more. Gujarat is a prosperous state and people will donate much more," Doshi said.

Donation data also suggests that AAP was more popular among urbanites and has been getting more than half of the donations from cities.

From Ahmedabad, 482 citizens donated Rs 9.25 lakh to AAP's accounts, while 134 citizens from Vadodara, 172 from Surat and 314 from Rajkot donated Rs 1.96 lakh, Rs 1.31 lakh and Rs 1.08 lakh respectively.

Political commentator Dinesh Shukla said that AAP may be lagging behind in projecting itself which resulted in less donations from Gujarat.

"AAP has not been getting due publicity here in Gujarat. Until now they could not project themselves well to attract good donation. Kejriwal's visit could improve AAP's state of affairs in Gujarat," Shukla said.

According to Shukla, there is also another probable reason for attracting less donations from Gujarat.

"Kejriwal's recent attacks on Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Industries may also result in lesser funds from Gujaratis, since the Ambanis are from Gujarat," he said.