Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday called upon his party MPs and MLAs to contribute at least one month salary to the party fund and asked office-bearers of the party, right from the district level, to engage in a membership drive as well as seek donations from well-wishers.

In a letter to party office-bearers and heads of frontal wings, Patnaik said each and every contribution needs to be in cheque or online transfer to the party account.

Patnaik heaped praises on party workers and supporters for having showered their blessings, love, and trust on the party since its formation in 1997.

The BJD will be celebrating its foundation day on December 26 and in view of this, the party supremo issued a letter highlighting the achievements of the workers and how they had earned the love and affection of the people of the state.

“We are a regional party and we do not wait for permission or clearance from any high-command like other national parties do to initiate welfare programmes or safeguard the interest of the state,” he said.

The people of Odisha, their interests and concerns are of paramount importance to the BJD workers, he noted while asking party workers to continue to stand by people and earn their love and affection.

He also referred to the issue of discipline in the party.

Patnaik pointed out that the BJD was perhaps the only political party in the country which has a Jeevan Bindu programme for blood donation. Over three lakh people have donated blood under the programme, he said.

There is no alternative to a strong regional party like the BJD, he told his party workers.

He appreciated the tireless efforts of the party workers in strengthening the party and went on to note that the government has been working hard for the welfare of the people and development of the state as per the dreams of late Biju Patnaik.