Sunday, 23 January, 2022
HomePoliticsGujarat Election 2017Congress is so short of funds that it is asking Gujarat candidates...

Congress is so short of funds that it is asking Gujarat candidates to spend from own pockets

Text Size:

The Congress has not yet hired any agency to run social media campaign either.

New Delhi: Unlike the BJP, the Congress party may not be able to run a high-octane election campaign in Gujarat due to a shortage of funds, sources in the party said Thursday.

“This is something the party has been facing for quite some time now. We have governments in only a few states such as Karnataka, Himachal and recently Punjab. This is why the donation flow has been very limited,” a senior party leader told ThePrint.

According to Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) data, the Congress has received corporate donations of Rs 198.16 crore between 2012 and 2016 compared to Rs 705.81 crore by the BJP in the same period.

In every election, the Congress usually divides the seats into three categories — A, B and C — according to the amount of money it is going to spend on candidates.

The seats where the party has the highest probability of victory are kept in ‘A’ category; ‘B’ is given to those seats where it can win if candidates work hard and ‘C’ goes to the seats where the party thinks its chances are minimal.

However, no such categorisation has taken place in Gujarat this time and the candidates have been asked to pay their own bills.

On 21 November, Ashok Gehlot, the party in-charge of Gujarat, made three rounds of the Congress treasurer Motilal Vora’s office, but he was not given a concrete answer as to how much funds would be made available to him.

Around 7.30 pm, Gehlot left the party office and went to Rajasthan House where he discussed the funds issue with Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki, sources said.

Gehlot, however, tried to play down the issue of fund shortage. “Vora-ji is our senior leader and it doesn’t mean that we meet him only for funds. There is no problem at all,” he said.

There has been no official explanation from the Congress either as to why the party hasn’t hired an agency to manage its social media campaign in Gujarat like it did in the past. Currently, it is being managed by an in-house team, led by Rohan Gupta, national media coordinator and the head of Congress’ social media campaign in Gujarat.

“The BJP is spending too much money on buying independent candidates and even our supporters. We don’t have enough money to make a counter offer,” said a Congress leader from Gujarat.

Young Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who pledged his support to the Congress Wednesday, had also accused the BJP of spending Rs 200 crore to induce his volunteers as well as independent candidates to divide votes.

The party sources said Hardik had talked about BJP’s offers during his discussion with Congress leaders and expected some assurance from the party. However, the Congress expressed its inability in making any counter-offers to Hardik loyalists who were being poached by the BJP.

Before Gujarat, the party was facing a similar situation in Himachal Pradesh. Ticket seekers were told in advance that they will have to manage the election on their own. Later, the state Congressgave Rs 5 lakh to each candidate in the absence of any contribution from the central headquarters.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

1 COMMENT

  1. This is what happens when crony politicians who have earned crores in scams in all political parties are given tickets everytime by all political parties.
    AAP did not have money either but it gave tickets to honest simpleton not promising more reservations for the obc which will open up a new can of worms.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular

×