India’s oldest political party the Congress, which governed the country for almost 50 years since independence, is facing a severe cash crunch. The party on Friday resorted to crowdfunding and asked people’s contribution to “restore the democracy”.
“The Congress needs your support and help. Help us restore the democracy which India has proudly embraced since 70 years by making a small contribution,” the grand old party tweeted with a link that takes one to its donation page.
The move to go for crowdfunding came a day after Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s tweet that the party should not be “embarrassed about acknowledging that it was facing a funding crunch.”
When asked about the Congress’ cash crisis, Tharoor said that the ruling BJP was soaking up most of the political funding and most of the opposition parties were facing the heat of funding crisis.
“No doubt that BJP is soaking up most of the political funding, partly because the money goes to those who are in power. As a result, most of the opposition parties are facing a bit of a crisis particularly the Congress which has a nationwide presence,” ANI quoted Tharoor as saying.
The Congress leader said that while most of its candidates in Karnataka financed their own campaign, the party opted for crowdfunding for one candidate. He also said that the Congress can run similar fundraising campaign in the 2019 general elections.
“In Karnataka, while most candidates financed their own campaign, in one case we did crowdfunding effort and it was successful. It can be repeated in general elections. In Kerala also we did yatras and were able to raise funds locally, this too can be repeated nationally,” the Congress leader said.
In 2016-17, the Congress raised Rs 225.36 crore in contrast to the ruling BJP’s Rs 1,034 crore in the similar time period, according to an Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report. The ADR report also suggested that the BJP was the richest party among the seven national political parties in India.