Andhra Pradesh Congress charges ₹25k for LS, ₹10k for Assembly from seat aspirants as ‘donation’

Manickam Tagore said there is a good response from the people and the donations can be made through 'Donate for Desh'.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 24, 2024 | 6:07 PMUpdatedJan 24, 2024 | 7:29 PM

Andhra Pradesh Congress seat donation

Kicking off the poll process, the Andhra Pradesh unit of the Congress on Wednesday, 24 January, started accepting applications from candidates planning to contest the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections to be held in the next two to three months.

According to Manickam Tagore, All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Andhra Pradesh, the state unit will adopt the Karnataka and Telangana Congress model and charge a “donation” from every aspiring candidate.

For the Lok Sabha election, candidates seeking tickets from general seats will pay ₹25,000, while aspirants in reserved seats — Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) — will pay ₹15,000.

For the Assembly elections, the donation amounts have been fixed as ₹10,000 for the general category ₹5,000 for reserved seats.

Applications will be accepted for the next two weeks, he said.

Also Read: Karnataka Congress collects over ₹20 crore from poll aspirants

All applications to be screened

Tagore further said all the applications will be processed through the Pradesh Election Committee and afterwards, it will go through the screening committee of the AICC.

Then the list will be sent to the Congress Central Election Committee headed by party president Mallikarjun Kharge.

“It (Congress) is a democratic party. Therefore, any Congress worker can come and apply,” Tagore said.

He said there is a good response from the people to contest Congress tickets and the donations can be made through ‘Donate for Desh,’ an online crowdfunding campaign. Andhra Pradesh has 175 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats.

Meanwhile, former APCC chief G Rudraraju said there is a tremendous response from the public for the meetings of newly appointed state party president YS Sharmila.

Currently, Sharmila is on a tour of north Andhra Pradesh to revive the ‘fortunes’ of the Congress party, which lost most of its support base on splitting the united Andhra Pradesh in 2014.

On Wednesday in Visakhapatnam, she alleged that her Chief Minister brother, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, failed to get special status for Andhra Pradesh which was promised during the state bifurcation.

On Tuesday, she travelled in an APSRTC bus from Palasa to Ichapuram and interacted with the passengers. She threw a challenge to the YSRCP government to show her the development that the ruling party is claiming.

Aso read: ₹50k fee for general candidates; ₹25k for SCs, STs, BCs in Telangana

Cases in Karnataka, Telangana

The party had reportedly collected over ₹20.5 crore from over 1,205 party ticket aspirants who had sought to contest the Karnataka Assembly election in 2023.

KPCC president DK Shivakumar had announced that those wishing to contest on party tickets should apply along with the fee.

“It is mandatory for all ticket aspirants. The same rule is applicable for sitting MLAs, including Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar,” said a party leader, who did not wish to be identified.

Those eyeing general category seats were asked to submit a demand draft of ₹2 lakh along with their application forms, while applicants from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) communities were offered a 50 percent discount.

In Telangana, however, the rates have been fixed at much lower levels, with party leaders telling South First that the idea was to discourage all and sundry from applying for tickets. The funds collected through the exercise would be utilised to build a new party building and for expenses in the elections.

The party has fixed ₹50,000 for those in the general category and ₹25,000 for the SC, ST, and Backward Classes (BC) candidates.

(With PTI inputs)