Bhubaneswar: In a bid to augment party's war chest ahead of the 2019 elections, BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked party legislators and MPs to donate at least one month's salary to the party. In a letter to BJD office bearers, legislators and MPs, on the occasion of 21st foundation day of the party, Patnaik urged them to donate the funds to the party through cheques.

Moreover, the district presidents of the party have been directed to encourage well wishers and supporters to donate funds to the party either through cheque or wire transfer at -

The party district presidents have been asked to review the donation process on a weekly basis.

The donated funds will be tax-free under Income Tax Act, 1961 section 80GGC and receipts will be given by party treasurer Subash Singh, the letter read. Patnaik has also set a target for party activists to add at least 200 new members from their respective panchayats in rural areas and wards in urban areas.

Responding to such a move, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik stated that seeking funds from MLAs and MPs is a ploy of the BJD to hoodwink people as the party and its chief have enough money.

On the Other hand, BJD spokesperson, Pratap Deb said that on the occasion of the foundation day the decision was taken to strengthen party's organisation. “Seems like the Odisha Congress chief has enough money; let him donate some of it to us,” Deb added.