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Congress launches 'Donate for Desh' campaign, but BJP owns 'Donate for Desh' website

The Congress party launched the 'Donate for Desh' crowdfunding campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, led by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge. However, an intriguing twist reveals that the 'Donate for Desh' hashtag on social media is promoted by the Congress, but the domain is owned by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Congress launches 'Donate for Desh' campaign, but BJP owns 'Donate for Desh' website
First Published Dec 18, 2023, 1:57 PM IST

The Congress party initiated a nationwide crowdfunding campaign, 'Donate for Desh,' on Monday, aimed at mobilizing resources for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Party chief Mallikarjun Kharge launched the campaign in Delhi, inviting Indians aged 18 and above to contribute a minimum of Rs 138 or multiples thereof, such as Rs 1,380 and Rs 13,800, to support the cause. However, here's what is interesting. Even though the Congress party went big to promote the 'Donate for Desh' hashtag on social media, the domain with the same name is owned by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Congress launches 'Donate for Desh' campaign, but BJP owns 'Donate for Desh' website
Screenshot of the page that opens up when DonateForDesh dot Org is entered

On clicking DonateForDesh dot Org, the page leads a user to make a donation to the BJP. In short, the domain is owned by the BJP. Similarly, DonateForDesh dot Com leads the user to the OpIndia website's subscription page.

For now, the Congress owns the domain --  donateinc dot in -- for its 'Donate for Desh' campaign.

What is Donate for Desh?

Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's historic 'Tilak Swaraj Fund' from 1920-21, Congress MP KC Venugopal explained that the campaign seeks to empower the party in fostering a more equitable distribution of resources and opportunities in India. Noting financial constraints within the party, Congress sources revealed that it faces a funding shortage compared to the well-supported BJP poll machinery. The Congress has criticized the electoral bonds scheme, alleging that it disproportionately favours the ruling BJP.

"Our inaugural campaign 'Donate for Behtar Bharat' commemorates the 138-year journey of the Indian National Congress. Embracing our history, we invite supporters to donate in multiples of Rs 138, symbolizing the party's enduring commitment to a better India," remarked Venugopal. The Congress has established two online channels, a dedicated portal, and its official website, for the crowdfunding initiative.

The online phase of the campaign will primarily run until December 28, coinciding with the party's foundation day. Subsequently, ground campaigns, featuring door-to-door visits by volunteers targeting at least 10 houses per booth for contributions of at least Rs 138 each, will be launched. State-level office bearers, elected representatives, District Congress Committee presidents, PCC chiefs, and AICC officials are encouraged to contribute at least Rs 1,380 each, as per Venugopal's statement.

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