New Delhi: The BJP is set to have more members than the population of all but seven countries in the world, its working president J.P. Nadda said Thursday.
The party has added around seven crore new members in its latest membership drive that concluded on 20 August, taking its total membership up to 18 crore.
Only China, the US, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Nigeria and India have a higher population than the BJP has members.
The total number of members added to the existing 11 crore stands at 5,81,34,242, with offline data adding another 62,35,967 members. This total of 6.43 crore is likely to go up as the numbers are still being collected and collated, Nadda said.
“Right from army officers, sportspersons… We got a tremendous response from all sections of the society,” he said.
The party’s target was to add 20 per cent of the 11 crore existing members, but the actual number has crossed 50 per cent, added Nadda. The BJP’s last membership drive was held in 2015.
Big increase in West Bengal & Jammu and Kashmir
One of the biggest gains for the BJP has come from West Bengal, where it has signed up 80 lakh members and may even cross one crore.
It’s another shot in the arm for the BJP in the eastern state after its impressive Lok Sabha election performance — it won 18 seats compared to the ruling Trinamool Congress’ 22.
The party is now gearing up for municipal and assembly elections in the state, and is trying to expand its base to the booth level.
West Bengal CM and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee is taking the BJP’s threat seriously, having recently hired political strategist Prashant Kishor to manage her 2021 assembly election campaign.
The party has added about 6 lakh members in Jammu and Kashmir too.
Meanwhile, in Gujarat, which the BJP has ruled uninterrupted since 1998, the party has registered a unique achievement — in booth no. 14 of the Chanasma assembly segment under Patan parliamentary constituency, all 10,600 voters have become BJP members, Nadda said.
How these numbers were achieved
The membership drive had started on 6 July, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah launching it from Varanasi and Telangana respectively on its ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s birth anniversary.
The BJP had earlier undertaken a membership drive through missed calls, but this time, workers were asked to visit booth-level members to verify their authenticity, a senior BJP leader said.
Explaining the process, the leader said that 1.85 lakh vistaaraks, including MPs, MLAs and state unit presidents, held door-to-door campaigning, camps, visited market areas, bus stops etc. to get more people into the party’s fold.
With this exercise over, the BJP now plans to start an exercise to make ‘active’ members, that is members that take part in party activities. After that, the party will hold elections for its national president and state units in December.