New way to raise funds in India's elections

Dr Kanhaiya Kumar, a 32-year-old fresh doctorate holder known for his radical charisma and mesmerising oratorical skills. His party, the Communist Party of India, declared an income of just 15.5 million rupees (S$303,500) in 2017-2018.
Dr Kanhaiya Kumar, a 32-year-old fresh doctorate holder known for his radical charisma and mesmerising oratorical skills. His party, the Communist Party of India, declared an income of just 15.5 million rupees (S$303,500) in 2017-2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

First-time candidates use crowdfunding platform to level the electoral playing field

It is undoubtedly one of the most closely watched contests in the upcoming Indian parliamentary elections. Dr Kanhaiya Kumar, a 32-year-old fresh doctorate holder known for his radical charisma and mesmerising oratorical skills, is up against Mr Giriraj Singh, a 66-year-old political firebrand and incumbent minister in the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government.

This political duel in Begusarai, Bihar state, is even more gripping because of Dr Kumar's underdog status as a representative of one of India's poorest political parties and Mr Singh's membership of the richest.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 07, 2019, with the headline 'New way to raise funds in India's elections'. Print Edition | Subscribe