AAP raises Rs. 50 lakh at Bangalore dinner attended by Arvind Kejriwal

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Bangalore: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has collected Rs. 50 lakh from a fund-raising dinner organised in Bangalore on Saturday during party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s two-day visit.

“Around 200 people attended the dinner. We have gathered about Rs. 50 lakh,” C N Radhakrishnan, a member of the group that organised the event said. The dinner was priced at Rs. 20,000 a person.

“A few people had pledged support to us but could not attend the event… they will be sending in their contributions soon,” he added.

The event was an initiative by a group called “Well-wishers of AAP” co-ordinated by former Infosys board member and party candidate from Bangalore Central constituency V Balakrishnan with an intention to raise fund for the party in a ‘transparent manner’.

Mr Kejriwal’s recent comment allegedly stating that the media had been “bought” with “large amounts” to promote Narendra Modi was the hot topic at the event and those who attended the dinner quizzed the former Delhi Chief Minister on the issue.

“It was a great event, it was completely interactive session, people asked him all kind of questions and pointed out some errors too,” said Naina P Nayak, AAP’s candidate from Bangalore South, who was part of the dinner event.

“People asked him about his recent comments about media. Kejriwal sought to clarify his comment and tried to make them understand what he really meant,” Mr Nayak said without elaborating.

“His resignation as Delhi Chief Minister was another hot topic. A few had some reservations on the way he resigned,” she added.

As he launched his roadshow in Bangalore on Saturday, Mr Kejriwal, unfazed by the criticism of his attack on media, accused certain sections in the media of lying about Narendra Modi’s development story in Gujarat.

Another major highlight for the audience was a dance performance by a young group with broomstick (AAP’s election symbol), conveying the message that their motto was to wipe out corruption from the country.

Mr Kejriwal is on a two-day visit to Karnataka to campaign for his party’s candidates in and around Bangalore and to make political inroads into a state dominated by the ruling Congress, BJP and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular).

In the 2009 polls, the BJP had walked away with 19 seats and Congress secured six seats, while JD(S) finished third with three seats.

AAP is contesting all 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka. Mr Kejriwal held a roadshow in Bangalore yesterday, covering all the three Lok Sabha constituencies of Bangalore South, Bangalore Central and Bangalore North, all held by BJP.

Karnataka is among the top four states in terms of offering donation to AAP.

According to AAP data, Rs. 76.68 lakh was donated from Karnataka, making it the fourth highest after Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

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