To match BJP’s cash power, Congress seeks crowdfunding for upcoming assembly elections

Ahead of the upcoming Rajasthan Assembly Elections, the Congress party has decided to follow the suit of its contemporary, AAP’s way of funding election campaigns by launching a drive called ‘Mera Booth, Mera Gaurav’. In 2015 Delhi elections AAP had started a campaign called ‘Donate to AAP’ to raise funds for the election campaign. In an official video uploaded by Indian National Congress, the state party president, Sachin Pilot is seen to be appealing to people to contribute to the Congress party to ensure that their future gets better. He said that this crowdfunding is not just to collect money but is also a means to connect with the people.

Emphasizing the concept of participatory democracy, Pilot said that only casting vote is not enough for the democracy, rather the people should be engaged in the whole process of election. He said,” The election is for the public and by the public but their involvement has been going down slowly. Only casting your vote is not fully participating in democracy. Making politicians accountable during and after the elections, ensuring your participation and contributing to the elections, be it financially or politically or in principle, there should be a public stake and involvement”. He also said that they may be lacking resources but the people’s blessings are with them. The clash is between the BJP’s cash power and the people’s power.

After the BJP came into power in 2014, the Congress party had faced a series of losses in assembly elections. The Congress party have been facing cash deficiency as earlier this year, Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram tweeted,” I don’t think we need to be embarrassed about acknowledging that @incIndia is facing a funding crunch: We should call on all concerned citizens to help us face the moneybags of the BJP.” In the Karnataka assembly polls too, which was held in May earlier this year, the Congress party opted for a crowdfunding for its candidate from Molakalmaru.

Congress party reportedly will follow the same route to 2019 Lok Sabha Polls. Congress general secretary, Ashok Gehlot while talking to a TV channel said” Public involvement plays a big role in politics. So, the time has come to go back to the aam aadmi (common man). On October 2, we’ll launch our campaign. Through a door-to-door campaign, our Karyakartas will go booth by booth, tell people about our policies, state, and national level issues and collect funds for the party. This is going to be a massive outreach program.” He also attributed the idea of crowdfunding to former PM Indira Gandhi’s style of fundraising where she used to auction the mementos she received.

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