Ahead of 2019 Elections, Atishi Marlena Begins Crowdfunding Drive

Launched at 3 pm on Wednesday, the drive yielded a donation of Rs 2 lakh within a few hours of going live.

Published07 Feb 2019, 02:14 AM IST
3 min read

Atishi Marlena, AAP's East Delhi parliamentary seat in-charge on Wednesday, 6 February, launched a crowdfunding drive that generated endorsements from Yashwant Sinha, Javed Jaffrey and Jignesh Mevani, among others. The drive also yielded a donation of Rs 2 lakh within a few hours of launching.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has nominated in-charges on six of the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi, who are expected to be soon declared as the official candidates of the party in the upcoming elections, reported PTI.

The campaign, which was launched at 3 pm on Wednesday on crowdfunding platform www.OurDemocracy.in, had collected over Rs 4 lakh at the time this story was published.

A short film has also been released as part of the drive, showing Marlena’s efforts towards bringing about change in Delhi’s government schools as the former advisor to Education Minister Manish Sisodia.

Party leaders said the campaign will continue online with a target to raise Rs 70 lakh, the permissible limit of expenditure in parliamentary polls as per the Election Commission, reported PTI.

Support for Marlena Pours In

Support poured in for Marlena on Twitter, with people taking to the platform to tweet their messages with #ISupportAtishi.

Former politician Yashwant Sinha tweeted a video endorsing Atishi's work.

“Atishi's efforts have dramatically improved the condition of Delhi's government schools. Someone like her needs to have a voice in Parliament. I appeal to the people of East Delhi to vote for her and elect her to the Lok Sabha," Sinha said in the video.

Supporting the campaign, actor Javed Jaffrey said, Atishi’s presence in Parliament would ensure that public education becomes a part of the political discourse, reported PTI.

In a video endorsing Marlena’s campaign, Gujarat MLA Mevani said, Atishi will be an impactful presence in the Parliament, which has "too few" women members. “We need more lawmakers who have experience and are genuinely concerned about the state of education in our country,” he tweeted.

Lawyer Karuna Nundy also tweeted in support of Marlena with #ISupportAtishi, praising her integrity and her aim of “giving up money for public good”.

Author and historian Manu Pillai also tweeted in support, saying that he would be happy to donate to Marlena’s campaign.

Activist Shehla Rashid also joined in to provide her support, acknowledging that the country needs more women MPs who “share the dream of a progressive society”.

Crowdfunding Not a First

This is not the first time that politicians in India have resorted to crowdfunding to finance campaigns. In 2015, Aam Aadmi Party had started a crowdfunding campaign called “Donate to AAP” which managed to collect over 10 lakh rupees in its first week.

In Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani, an independent candidate, used the crowd-sourcing platform called Crowdnewsing to raise money for his campaign from the Vadgam constituency. Mevani won the seat by a margin of over 20,000 votes.

In fact, Congress too in the recently concluded Karnataka elections crowdfunded its campaign for a candidate from Molakalmuru to take down the Reddy brothers’ close confidante Sriramulu.

BJP had also started a micro-funding drive through the NaMo app in October 2018. PM Modi had made the inaugural donation of Rs 1,000 to BJP through the app, reported The Week.

(With inputs from PTI and The Week.)

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