New Delhi, Sept 9: In run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the prime Opposition Congress is facing an evident cash crunch as two prominent regional parties - the Shiv Sena, which has electoral presence only in Maharashtra and the AAP, established only in Delhi and Punjab - have together bagged more donations than the grand old party.
As per the data released by the Association of Democratic Reforms, the Congress received Rs 41.90 crore from 599 donations in 2016-17. It is followed by the Shiv Sena which was bagged Rs 25.65 crores from 297 donations and the Aam Aadmi Party, which received Rs 24.73 crore in form of 3,865 individual donations.
The combined donations of AAP and Shiv Sena - over Rs 50 crore - trumps the amount which the Congress could seek despite being a party with pan-India presence.
In a meeting of Congress office-bearers held last week, the party decided to launch a 40-day mass programme to collect donations from supporters, volunteers and workers at ground-level.
The crowdfunding measure was necessitated as the corporates are apparently more inclined towards the BJP than the Congress. The ADR report found that the former had received 593 per cent more donations in 2016-17 than in the previous year.
As per the declaration made by the BJP - which the ADR report cites - the party has bagged Rs 532.27 crores in the form of donations from 1,194 donors.
Out of all on-paper donations made to the political parties in 2016-17, 708 were issued by corporate bigwigs. The BJP was the largest beneficiary, as 531 corporate donations were issued in its favour, followed by 98 in favour of the Congress.