BHOPAL: BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to Madhya Pradesh last month has led to state party being entrusted with a gargantuan task of raising Rs 100 crore to ensure smooth functioning of the party over the next five years. According to sources, Shah—during meetings with the party’s top brass in Bhopal between August 18 and 20—directed the state unit to raise the whopping amount from 2018 to 2023.
The target amount is to be generated through contributions by party workers and supporters to its Aajivan Sahyog Nidhi (Lifelong Contribution Fund) in a transparent manner. BJP’s state unit has to raise Rs 20 crore each year to be able to reach the target figure by 2023.
Madhu Verma, in-charge of Aajivan Sahyog Nidhi (ASN) in Madhya Pradesh, told The Sunday Standard that a meeting of the party’s top brass has been convened in Bhopal in December to draw a detailed blueprint for attaining the target. “Hitherto, we accepted contributions of Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 towards the ASN. Each of the 56 organisational districts of the party in the state worked for generating the contributions. Of the total amount collected, 25 per cent went to the central party unit, 25 per cent to the state party unit, while the remaining 50 per cent was rendered to the district party unit for its day-to-day functioning,” said Verma.
However, with the current set of rules allowing donations to political parties only up to Rs 2,000 in cash, the state unit has been directed to accept contributions above Rs 2,000 and up to Rs 1 lakh by cheque. The amount will be fixed deposited and the interest earned through it will be used to run the state and 56 district units.
“This year’s contributions to ASN have reached Rs 9 crore, akin to last year’s. The annual contributions to ASN have grown over the last two years—from Rs 3-4 crore to Rs 9 crore. We’re hopeful of achieving the new target starting from 2018,” said Verma.
In a departure from the practice of 25 per cent of the collections going to the central party, the entire contributions to the ASN will now be utilised by the state and district party units only, starting from the Assembly poll year 2018.
The new year of ASN contributions, just like in previous years, will start from February 11, 2018—the 50th death anniversary of party ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya. However, it remains to be seen how the state BJP achieves the massive target, particularly as the economy has been hit hard by demonetisation.