Bhopal: The Congress may have set its eyes on wresting power from the BJP in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh but, as far as monetary resources are considered, the Congress is far behind its rival.
The Electoral Bonds, issued by the Reserve Bank of India, for bringing transparency into funding of political parties in the country have not found any takers in MP. The state BJP, however, issued its own coupons and has managed to collect Rs 10 crore from the 230 assembly constituencies in the state.
This fund is over and above the amount collected by the party as donation and as life membership fee.
The coupons, costing Rs 500, Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000 each, were issued in July and a target for collecting Rs 46 crore was set. Each Assembly constituency was to contribute Rs 20 lakh.
The local leaders were asked to sell the coupons and in three months, they have already met almost 20 per cent of the target. The amount has been deposited in the bank accounts of the state and district offices of the party for use for party purposes.
The Congress, on the other hand, in facing a severe resource crunch. The establishment expenses of the state Congress office here are met from the Rs 7 lakh sent by the AICC every month. At the behest of the former PCC President Arun Yadav, it was decided to seek cheques for Rs 50,000 as application fee, Rs 2,000 for National Herald and Rs 1,000 for party fund from all those applying for its tickets for the assembly polls. The party had received around 3,200 applications.
However, after Kamal Nath took over as the state party chief in May this year, it was announced return cheques to the applicants.