The ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh, aiming at a fourth term in the state where elections will be held later this year, is on a massive fund-raising drive that involves coupons that party workers will be encouraged to buy.
The party has set a target of Rs 46 crore to be collected from its workers in all 230 constituencies from August 1 to August 30. That means 20 lakhs to be raised from each constituency, a BJP leader says.
"We will print coupons worth 200, 500, 1,000 and 2,000. It will be sold to party workers so that we can get funds and form the government for the fourth successive term," said BJP spokesman Rahul Kothari.
Taking a dig at the Congress, he added: "We believe in taking blessings from the common people. Unlike the Congress party, we don't believe in generating funds by indulging in scams like the Bofors scam or the Churhat lottery scam."
There will be a "collection-in-charge" for each district.
Opposition Congress leader Sajjan Singh Verma called the drive a sham. "They have already identified businessmen, builders and traders in each constituency and will take money from them, but people are ready to teach them a lesson this time," he said.
The Congress is hoping to make a comeback in the state on the back of 15 years of anti-incumbency, but is struggling with funds, unlike the BJP.
The BJP is the richest party in India, with earnings of over Rs 1,000 crore in 2016-17, more than six other parties put together, according to the think tank Association for Democratic Reforms.
A few months ago, the Congress instructed workers who wanted to fight the assembly polls to deposit a demand draft of Rs 50,000. But after former union minister Kamal Nath took charge as the state Congress chief, the idea was dropped.
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