THE upcoming Lok Sabha elections will approximately cost the nation Rs 20,000 crore and this does not include official expenditure by the Government of India. How a political party collects funds is an experience in itself. The ‘festival of democracy’ is the biggest auspicious occasion for every political party. Leaders of each political party are open to receiving gifts/donations from anybody who is willing to help them. The set procedure to collect funds is that all big parties write an official letter followed by a personal phone call by the party president or treasurer to industrial houses and High Net worth Individuals (HNI) seeking donations. Most of the industrial houses and HNIs respond as per their resources and their respective henchmen handover the cheque or cash as instructed by their bosses. Now, sources disclose that the BJP President has discovered a new formula to collect funds from industrial houses. No longer do industrial houses or HNIs have any choice in the matter. Sources within the BJP disclosed that whenever an industrialist or HNI goes to meet Amit Shah, he takes out the net worth statement and income tax assessment report of the HNI and/or industrial house. This sets the tone of how much the respective donor is expected to pay. Most of the donors are surprised by this new methodology. The Congress, on its part, has an old hand Ahmed Patel as treasurer who knows how to collect the resources and from whom. Even the Congress Chief Ministers’ know how to collect and send money to the Delhi office.