Cash-strapped Congress to issue coupons to raise funds for poll campaigning in Kerala

VD Satheesan and K Sudhakaran. Photo: Manorama Online

Kottayam: As the Congress is faced with an unprecedented financial crisis, the KPCC is contemplating holding an emergency fundraiser to sustain the party's campaigning activities for the Lok Sabha elections.

KPCC general secretary T U Radhakrishnan told Manorama Online that Opposition leader V D Satheesan has proposed printing coupon books and distributing them at the booth level to raise money. The party's bank accounts were frozen by the Income Tax Department due to the non-payment of dues.

"It is nothing but the BJP's tactics to undermine the Congress at the national level. The common man has understood this. The party is experiencing great financial difficulty, a situation that has led to sympathy among the people, especially with the elections at the doorstep. Party workers will enthusiastically take part in the fundraising campaign," Radhakrishnan said. KPCC's move comes after the AICC decided that all Pradesh Congress Committees would have to find alternative ways to generate funds for campaigning.

The Congress believes that both the CPM and BJP are pumping money into their respective poll campaigns. Though the party has been actively campaigning in the majority of the constituencies till now, it is estimated the opposition parties will turn up the heat in the coming days and the Congress has no other option but to collect money from the public to sustain their campaign activities. KPCC general secretary Pazhakulam Madhu said matters including the number of coupons to be printed will be decided without delay.

Earlier, it was reported that national leaders of the party would curtail their trips to various states as part of campaigning due to the financial crisis. The situation of the party's state leaders is not dissimilar. KPCC is struggling to find money to fund the travel, accommodation and food of leaders who have been given charge of all 20 constituencies. It was also confirmed that candidates would get no funds from the AICC. The leaders pointed out that the funds collected during Samaragni, held by the Opposition leader and the KPCC president, were used to offset several party expenses.

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