As AAP prepares to throw its hat into electoral ring outside Delhi, its leaders find themselves pushed against the wall following severe fund shortages.
Senior leaders confessed that their funds had ‘dried up’ and new donors weren’t keen to fund their campaign in Punjab and Goa for the fear of reprisals from the Income Tax authorities.
One senior leader, who wished not to be identified, said, “The number of donors have dropped drastically and online donations have also come down subsequently in the last few months. We are now facing a huge crisis and don’t quite know how to fund our assembly poll campaigns in Goa and Punjab.”
One of the key sources AAP’s funding has been through online donations, but the party says that they too dropped considerably in the last few months.
Could it be due to the party’s dip in popularity?
“Absolutely not,” said the source adding that their potential donors were being hounded by the IT authorities allegedly at the behest of the central government.
He said, “The Income Tax dept has thrown all its might to scuttle our funding and every donor of AAP, who has donated to party by cheque or online in the past, is under scanner now.
“Not too long ago, one of our supporters in Goa made donations to AAP and the amount was little big. Soon he was served notice by IT dept for probe in some other trumped up case. And this wasn’t an isolated case. There have been many instances where donors, who donated AAP between 2013 and 2016 are now being served notices by the IT at the behest of Modi govt.”
AAP had announced its intention to publish its donors’ names on the website, but the party said that it was revisiting the plan in the wake of ‘continuous harassment’ of its supporters by the central government agencies.
Delhi minister Satyendra Jain too was recently summoned by the IT authorities in reassessment case of his firms allegedly owning shell companies.
The party is now believed to be working on a new strategy whereby it will expect local candidates in Punjab and Goa to generate funds on their own in their respective constituencies primarily to fund their local campaigns.