The Aam Aadmi Party received Rs 24 lakh within hours of its national convener Arvind Kejriwal’s appeal for donations “to help keep the idea of a clean alternative politics alive”, raking in more in a day than it had in over a fortnight since the beginning of October.

The donations were triggered by the Delhi’s chief minister’s e-mail to donors in which he quoted figures released recently by a political watchdog to hit out at his rivals over dodgy funding. He also outlined challenges that his party faced due to lack of money.

Kejriwal’s message, issued in an email sent to donors on Dhanteras on Tuesday, led to fresh donations of Rs 14.72 lakh within a day, with more than 1,830 people responding. The lowest contribution was Rs 10, and the highest Rs 1 lakh. On Wednesday, the party received Rs 10 lakh from 1,020 donors till 6:15 pm, a party official said. Most of the donations have been generated from India, he said.

Between October 1 and 16, the party received Rs 13.23 lakh from 835 donors. It has a committed group of around 400 donors who contribute on a monthly basis.

“Whenever we run out of money, we issue appeals. We are happy so many donors have responded,” said AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj. The party had issued a similar appeal for donations before the Punjab and Goa elections earlier this year.

In the latest appeal, Kejriwal quoted recently issued statistics by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) to hit out at the BJP and the Congress. The appeal comes ahead of assembly elections in Gujarat and Rajasthan and local polls in Uttar Pradesh where the party is testing the waters.

“According to the ADR report, 80% of political funding of BJP and Congress is from unknown sources. It creates a government with vested interests, and its loyalty is always leaning towards their funding agencies instead of the welfare of aam aadmis like us. This is probably why majority of our citizens are struggling for basic human necessities even after 70 years of independence,” it said.

“AAP as an organisation constantly struggles to address - and hence writing this email - how to meet our political and organisational expenses. Many of you may think that with four MPs, 86 MLAs, 52 councillors, AAP should have no crunch for money to run a party,” Kejriwal’s mail said.

The appeal became a topic of discussion on social media with the hashtag #CleanPoliticsThisDiwali trending on Twitter.

The message cited AAP government’s performance in Delhi, where it claimed to have revolutionised the Indian political space with its commitment to good governance.

“In Delhi, AAP has brought major transformation in education and health care in just two-and-a-half years. It is time for AAP to innovate in the field of political funding. We have to show to the rest of political parties that we can manage our organizational and political expenses without compromising on our integrity, commitments and values,” it said.

The message mentions an “Outreach Team” to connect, communicate and engage with donors.

“This team will reach out to you to seek your support. I urge you to join the outreach team’s efforts to solve the biggest source of corruption in India – political funding. All it will take is Rs 100 from each and every one of us,” the letter signs off.

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