Bengaluru, April 24: At a time when big political parties are openly splurging huge amount of money during their rallies in poll-bound Karnataka, small parties like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Swaraj India party are mostly relying on generous donation from people.
Both the AAP and the Swaraj India party are contesting Assembly elections in the state for the first time. The elections to the 224-member Assembly in Karnataka are scheduled on May 12. The results will be declared on May 15.
On Monday, when P Ramesh Chander, Swaraj India party candidate from Bengaluru's Mahadevapura constituency, was on his way to file his nomination papers at the city's KR Puram taluk office, he and his supporters got a "big surprise".
After learning that the Swaraj India party has started a campaign, "Ondhu Votu, Ondhe Notu (One Vote, One Note)", to promote clean politics, a poor vegetable vendor decided to give away all her day's earning.
The members of the party met the vendor on the road and before they could have even finished explaining the entire idea and motive behind the campaign, she opened her small cash box and without thinking twice donated her entire day's earning.
Under the unique campaign, Ondhu Votu, Ondhe Notu, the Swaraj India party is asking people to vote for its candidates and donate money (as per one's desire and capacity) for the party.
"In Doddanekundi, I was touched by the gesture of a pushcart vegetable vendor. After explaining her about the importance of clean and alternative politics, we asked for her 'vote and note'. The lady picked up a handful of notes from her cash box and donated without even seeing how much she gave," said techie-turned-politician Chander.
He added that such instances further strengthened his resolve to fight for a corrupt-free and equal society. Chander is one of the 11 candidates the Swaraj India party has fielded this election.
The Swaraj India party was founded last year by political expert Yogendra Yadav and Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan. Both Yadav and Bhushan were among a group of founding members of the AAP, but later they were expelled from the party.
Yadav, Bhushan and AAP convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal were the three main faces of Anna Hazare led anti-corruption movement in 2011.