BJP president Amit Shah on Monday pitched for reducing the dependence on “money bags” to run the party and asked workers to lead the way to bring about what he described as, purity in poll funding.

Addressing a party event to mark the 51st death anniversary of its ideological guide Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Amit Shah said the BJP should take up the responsibility of guiding other parties on the path of probity. The party must run with contributions from its workers and not on donations of “money bags, builders, contractors and those with black money”, he said, according to news agency PTI.

Hours before Amit Shah spoke at the event, Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi donated Rs 1,000 to the party through the party’s phone app and asked others to emulate them.

“Urging you all to donate to the Party. The NaMo App is an easy way to do so. I too made my contribution,” PM Modi later tweeted,

Amit Shah said BJP workers should say with pride that “we run this party from our money and no industrialist, contractor, money bag or builder can run it.

The BJP president said he could not say the BJP funds all its organisational and election expenses from its workers’ contributions but stressed, this should change.

“If means are not pure, then our goals cannot be attained in a good way. If the party has to be kept pure… If the party starts running from the money of money bags, builders, contractors, those with black money, then it will malign our means to realise our goals,” he said.

He also called for a public debate on how election expenses can be brought down and the probity bar in poll funding raised.

The Modi government, he asserted, has taken steps to clamp down on the influence of black money in politics by limiting cash donations to Rs 2,000.

Laws against corruption have been made so stringent that those breaking it will be caught and that those who were involved in scams are sweating even in this Delhi winter, he said.

Fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi had escaped the country because the Modi government started putting accused like them behind bars, he claimed.