AAP defends Rs 20,000 per person dinner with Arvind Kejriwal

Bangalore, Mar 11: Fending off criticism about its “Rs 20,000 per person” dinner with Arvind Kejriwal, AAP today claimed it was a transparent way of raising money unlike the mainstream parties where 75 per cent of funding came from “unknown” sources.

“We are raising money for fighting election in an open and transparent way,” former Infosys Board Member and AAP candidate from Bangalore Central V Balakrishnan, who is said to be co-ordinating the event, told reporters here.

The AAP’s fund raising dinner, in which people could participate after contributing Rs 20,000 per person, is scheduled for March 15 when Kejriwal will hold roadshow in and around the city, followed by a public rally the next day.

“We are asking people to come there, interact with Arvind, understand his ideas and if they can contribute minimum Rs 20,000, that will help us in fighting election in more honest way,” Balakrishnan said.He alleged 75 per cent of funding for mainstream political parties come from unknown sources.

“Raising money from unknown sources is where the corruption starts, it is like promoting crony capitalism. We will put all the names on the web,” he said, adding AAP’s approach would bring a big change.

Prithvi Reddy, AAP’s national executive member, said that for the first time in this country, AAP was approaching people telling that clean politics requires clean money.

“Lot of people have tried to attack us saying that you are charging Rs 20,000 to have a meal with Kejriwal; …that’s not true, Kejriwal certainly is not interested in charging Rs 20,000, nobody is coming there for a meal.

“As a donation to the party we have requested that they give us (money), this is a ticketed event where we are charging a minimum of Rs 20,000,” he added. The party had yesterday announced 13 candidates out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka.