Insiders reveal that the party till date has not been able to release a single advertisement in the electronic or the print media as there is no money with the party.
The candidates nominated to contest a total of 117 constituencies on AAP tickets have been asked to make their own arrangements for carrying out the election campaign. The election commission has fixed a limit of Rs 28 lakh which can be spent on electioneering in each constituency but a pauper AAP may lose the game due to deficient ‘vitamin M,’ admit party office-bearers.
The candidates are left with no option but to sell their properties or seek hefty loans from where ever possible to keep campaign going. Anu Randhawa, contesting on AAP ticket from Ghanour, has sold her house to raise funds.
The deficiency of ‘vitamin M’ may prove to be the main reason in defeating the electoral ambitions of Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP supremo, who is dreaming of forming the next government in Punjab.
AAP sources disclose that the policy of declaring receipt of donations on official website from individuals and corporates has been stopped as the regime started targeting the donors through income tax department. Party is maintaining complete calculus of donations but details are not being made public now. No other party has ever made its fund-raising a public affair.
The party is however being supported by Non-Resident-Indians (NRIs) who are contributing to funds in an impressive way. The money thus collected is spent on day to day expenses. This money too has gone into running of 55 publicity vans with projectors which show AAPs’ developmental works undertaken in Delhi and seek votes for forming government in Punjab.
The local donations accepted in each constituency go into printing of flex advertisement boards and arranging platforms with public address systems.
AAP leaders maintain that the candidates are managing to raise Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh in each constituency from general public and shopkeepers which may not be sufficient to meet the cost of publicity.
This is the reason; sources say that AAP is banking on social media which costs nothing in spreading the message of the party among netizens. They allege that as newspapers especially vernaculars publish news only if it is accompanied by paid advertisement, hence the medium remains out of reach of the candidates.
The party is requesting a handful of rich candidates to contribute towards the expenses of weaker candidates. Though a pauper literally, AAP leadership is hopeful of winning substantial number of seats to form the government, which is being seen as a utopia.