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AAP reaches Rs 20-crore goal, says donate no more

NEW DELHI: On Sunday morning, a new message greeted visitors to Aam Aadmi Party website. "We sincerely thank you for donating and helping us reach our target." Sometime around midnight, the party reached its target of Rs 20 crore, the amount it needed to fight the Delhi assembly elections.

Several lakhs of people from across the world contributed from Re 1 to Rs 1 crore to the party. Party chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: "Ur party needed Rs 20 crore to fight Delhi elections. We don't need anymore money...A big thank you to all donors. This is their clean hard-earned money which I am sure will go a long way in cleaning up Indian politics."

While the party continues to be embroiled in controversy over its alleged foreign funding, the lawyer on whose PIL the government had ordered an inquiry stepped up pressure on AAP by asking for a deeper investigation. The attack by Congress and BJP on its source of funding only helped the party, which saw donations go up several fold in the past week.

"We started our fund collection drive on January 8, 2013. Till around the middle of July, we had collected around Rs 6 crore. We stepped up our drive in August and had started collecting Rs 3-4 crore each month," said a source.

From Sunday, the party suspended all fund collection drives and disbanded the fund collection team. "We have the funds to fight this election and do not want more. However, people are continuing to donate and we will not refuse any financial assistance. This additional money will not be used for the elections. The party may decide to suspend online collections for some time but this has not been finalized yet," said a source.

India continued to remain the highest donor, contributing about Rs 14 crore. The US is the second highest donor (Rs 21.5 lakh) followed by Hong Kong (Rs 11.5 lakh). On Sunday, till 8.30 pm, Rs 4.32 lakh were collected making it the total collections Rs 20.04 crore.