Following Punjab Congress’ footsteps of charging the ticket aspirants for the Lok Sabha elections, a fee to get the party’s nomination, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has told their party leaders that whoever are “willing” to contest parliamentary polls, have to pay Rs 25,000 when they submit their application forms for the same.
According to news agency ANI, the AIADMK has announced that party workers who are willing to contest in Lok Sabha elections can apply from February 4 to February 10 after paying Rs 25,000. All 40 constituencies (39 Tamil Nadu and 1 Puducherry) have been listed for sending applications.
However, this is not the first time, AIADMK has charged an election ticket fee from aspirants, in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the party had charged a similar fee from the party ticket aspirants.
The Punjab Congress had also earlier issued similar notification asking the party members applying for tickets for 2019 Lok Sabha polls to pay Rs 25,000 as application fee. However, the reserved category seats would cost a sum of Rs 20,000. Punjab has 13 Lok Sabha seats including four reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates.
The instruction to charge an application fee came from All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Punjab and Chandigarh Asha Kumari. She has adopted this step to help the so-called cash-starved party generate funds ahead of the general elections.
It is pertinent to note here that the so-called cash-starved Punjab government, disregarding its present financial burdens and the debt strain Punjab is going through, had in October 2018, approved the purchase of a new fleet of over 400 luxury vehicles for the chief minister, his staff, cabinet ministers and bureaucrats in the state government worth Rs 80 crore.
However, this is not the first time for the Congress to charge for its election tickets. It has demanded a similar amount for the four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh also.’
Meanwhile, AIADMK had won 37 of the 39 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. This time, however, the party will be contesting national polls under new leadership for the first time in years after the death of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who passed away in December 2016.