With Lok Sabha elections just months away, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday launched a drive to collect donations for its “Modi for PM fund” from the people and also inducted several former IITians into the party to give a fillip to its campaign.

BJP President Rajnath Singh launched the drive to collect donations ranging from Rs. 10 to Rs. 1,000 in the name of “Modi for PM fund”. Under this plan, people can donate to the party through cash or credit and debit cards.

Each contributor will be given a paper trail and informed through SMS about the deposit. Those making payment online will receive confirmation through e-mail and SMS.

Though the party has formally denied that this plan was inspired by a similar exercise conducted by Aam Aadmi Party, sources said AAP did influence the BJP in going for this move. Till now BJP claimed that it collects big funds through cheques.

Mr. Singh paid Rs. 1,000 into the fund while inaugurating the drive. BJP aims to reach out to 10 crore families under its “one vote, one note.”

Mr. Singh also inducted several technocrats- including some IIT-ians into the party. Subodh Sharma, an IIT Roorkee alumnus, joined BJP and has been appointed convenor of the newly formed Technocrat Cell.

Other engineers and technocrats who joined the BJP include K. K. Sharma, former IIT-ian and IT Commissioner who was a contemporary of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal; Ashok Saini, CEO, A2Z group; Vikas Guliani, technical consultant; and Shalab Sharma, former IIT-ian and entrepreneur.

Some former defence officials, including Air Vice Marshal R K Mohan and Air Commodore A Mohanty, and former IPS official R D Gupta also joined the party.

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