By Shilpa Phadnis & N D Shiva Kumar, TNN | 8 Mar, 2014, 08.47AM IST
BANGALORE: Not under but at the table; that, too, loaded with food and a conversation with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal. In an initiative new to India, invitations to a fundraiser dinner on March 15 in the city have gone out from V Balakrishnan, former Infosys board member and recent AAP member, to about 200 of the city’s high net worth individuals.Those asked to the by invitation-only event are mainly from the technology, private equity and venture capital sectors.
The fund-raiser — at Rs 20,000 per person — will be held at a hotel in the city centre where Kejriwal will interact with guests for an hour.Fund-raiser dinners are a popular way of raising money abroad by political parties but are new to India and being adopted by new-age political outfits like AAP.
If all goes well, AAP should mobilize at least Rs 40 lakh at Rs 20,000 for 200 guests. The money could be much more: Rs 20,000 the base amount to participate in the dinner.
“You have the opportunity for a no-holds barred discussion with Arvind Kejriwal and the local leadership, on matters important to you,” reads the mail from Balakrishnan. He further writes: “Corruption in this country starts with the way political parties are funded. AAP is trying to change this by raising money from known sources, which are fully accounted for in a transparent way and use that to fund candidates to run elections honestly. Unless all of us support this kind of initiativethe country will never change. I request all of you to attend the dinner and make the pledge.”
The dinner is the official start of Aam Aadmi Party’s approach to work closely with industry in Karnataka,” says Balakrishnan. The party has asked state units to mobilize funds locally. If the Bangalore event works, other states could follow suit, Balakrishnan told TOI.