Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 21
The BJP has enrolled more than three crore members in the membership drive that ended August 20, far more than the set target of 20 per cent of the existing numbers.
As many as 3,78,67,753 new members joined the party whereas leaders say the figure will be revised upwards as more details are awaited.
The current membership of the saffron party would be a whooping 14,78,67,753 if existing 11 crore members are taken into account
The exercise paves the way for the organisational polls which will culminate with the election of the new BJP chief, expected to be working president JP Nadda.
Meanwhile, in Jammu and Kashmir, the saffron party has enrolled 3,50,174 new members (online) of which 23,000 are from three districts of the troubled Valley—Baramulla, Srinagar and Anantnag.
Again, the final numbers will increase when figures from seven lakh membership slips are also accounted, said BJP vice president and in charge of the now Union Territory Avinash Rai Khanna.
The party will far surpass the target of 20 per cent new members, he said.
The BJP had 5,20,959 members in Jammu and Kashmir of which around one lakh were in the Valley alone, says Khanna.
“The response has been overwhelming across the country. In Jammu and Kashmir also we have been able to enrol members beyond the target. I am quite sure that the next chief minister of the newly-formed Union Territory will be from the BJP. People have really benefited from schemes of the Central government. There is a perceptible change of mindset of people there, a positive trend,” the BJP vice president said
Leaders expect countrywide new members to rise to around 5 crore after data from the across the country is collected.
So far, almost 1.6 crore more members than the set target have been brought into the fold, they say.
The membership drive started on July 6 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah launching it from Varanasi and Telangana, respectively, on the birth anniversary of ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee.
The BJP, which claims to have 11 crore members, had fixed the target of adding at least 2.2 crore in the massive exercise headed by former Madhya Pradesh CM and vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Interestingly, however, of these 11 crore members, a large number of which were enrolled through missed calls in the 2015 drive, details of almost half could not be completely verified.
Leaders say this time more filters have been added like name, address, area pin code and mobile/telephone number before they were enrolled as members
The completion of the membership drive will pave way for organisation polls from September 1.
Elections of national council members will take place in December followed by anointment of the new national president.
With party chief Amit Shah now the Union home minister it is expected that he may make way for working president JP Nadda to take over.