While it is too early to gauge the political impact of the recent infighting in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), data on the donations received by the party show some of its donors might have deserted it.
An analysis by Business Standard of the donations received by the party reveals the money flowing into it has seen a substantial fall since the beginning of this month, when news of infighting began to emerge. The flows have particularly declined since March 6, a day after the party’s political affairs committee decided to oust senior leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. The decline in donations can be gauged from the fact that since March 6, the party has secured a mere Rs 63,000 in donations; between November 23, 2014, and February 12 this year, there wasn’t a single day when the party didn’t secure a few lakhs. Worse, the party received only Rs 2,700 on Tuesday (the lowest for this year) and another Rs 2,700 by Thursday evening.
Before the decline, large donations kept coming AAP’s way even after it formed a government in Delhi on February 14, suggesting donors expected the party to expand beyond Delhi. This is also revealed in the state-wise break-up of the fund flow, which shows while AAP gets most of its donations from Delhi, Maharashtra is the second-largest donor, accounting for 17 per cent of the party’s overall donations. Maharashtra is followed by Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
So, is there reason to worry? While the recent decline in donations is substantial, AAP donors seem to have been following a pattern. As chart 2 shows, donations of the party see a substantial increase before elections, followed by a downfall.
THE BIG FALL
Trends in donations received by AAP since forming a government in Delhi
But AAP donations typically rise ahead of elections and drop in the intervening periods (funding in Rs ‘000)
AAP receives bulk of its donations from Delhi; Maharshtra is second (states’ share in %)