Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal made it to Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people chosen online in a poll by readers of US-based news magazine. That he made it to the list is probably no surprise since more than one-third of his party's donations from NRIs are from those based in the US.
Since December 12, days after the Delhi Assembly elections concluded, AAP has received donations to the tune of Rs 30.43 crore. Of this amount, nearly Rs 9.24 crore have come from NRIs, which party leaders showcase as one of their strongest support groups. It simply means that for every Rs 3 that AAP has got since December 12, Re 1 has come from an NRI.
AAP got around Rs 9.24 crore from 12,821 NRIs in the last four months of which a lion's share came from the Indian community in the US. Of Rs 9.24 crore, more than Rs 3.35 crore has come from 4,699 NRIs in the US.
The donation from NRIs from across the world ranges from as low as Rs 1,000 to the highest of Rs 62 lakh. For instance, the Rs 62 lakh donation came from Hong Kong NRI Ganesh Ramani. One, Sarveshwar Mathur, who is in Dubai, donated Rs 25 lakh to the new political outfit.
Apart from the US, around Rs 85 lakh came from 87 donors in Hong Kong, around Rs 1.22 crore came from 1,586 donors in United Arab Emirates, around Rs 62 lakh from 1,097 donors in United Kingdom and around Rs 43 lakh from 744 donors in Australia.
A senior AAP leader admitted that NRIs are one of their strong support groups and they have repeatedly reposed their faith in the new party. "AAP is surviving on donations from people, but unlike other political outfits all our accounts are transparent," said a senior AAP leader. "NRIs have been a very important support group as they are strongly concerned about India's politics and thus they wanted to contribute to the new political system that AAP is trying to create," said a senior AAP leader.