New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will, for the first time, undertake on-spot verification of those seeking its membership.
BJP sources said the move is expected to ensure state party units do not inflate the number of people joining the party, and that only genuine individuals are registered as party members. The BJP, at present, has 11 crore members.
A senior BJP leader said those who want membership will need to furnish government identification and address proofs — be it Aadhaar or voter ID cards — for verification.
The process will start from 6 July to mark the birth anniversary of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, founder of the BJP’s precursor, the Bharatiya Jan Sangh.
‘This will make verification process less time-taking’
Sources said the process of verification is both cumbersome and time-consuming. At present, verification is undertaken after people express their interest to join the party by giving missed calls to certain phone numbers listed by the BJP on its website or by filling up forms available on the party’s social media pages and website.
Once a person gives a missed call, an acknowledgment is sent to his/her number.
Sources involved in the process of the membership drive said that later either the person concerned is contacted via phone or his/her location is derived. Once the location is secured, their phone numbers are sent to the respective state party units to approach them in person.
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“It becomes very difficult sometimes to locate people just on the basis of location. For example, I have two colonies falling in the same area and it becomes tough to find out the exact person with the name and address, which may not have specifics. It takes a lot of time to verify them. This is what we had witnessed last time during the membership drive,” said a senior BJP MP.
With on-spot verification, the BJP also hopes that work load of those involved in the verification process will reduce.
BJP general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao said a lot of efforts of those working on the party’s membership drive go into verifying the new entrants.
“Going to houses of every person who has given us missed calls and then verifying the credentials have been a cumbersome task and it took our leaders months to complete the verification. So, to lessen the burden on the vistaraks (workers) tasked with the membership drive, they will be given printed slips to be filled up by those who have showed interest in being a member when the workers visit them in person,” said Rao.
Over 2 lakh workers to be engaged
To strengthen the party organisation further, the BJP will focus on conducting the membership drive in states where the party does not have a strong political presence.
BJP sources said one vistarak will be assigned to oversee membership drive at five polling booths. The vistaraks would visit the houses of interested people falling under the area assigned to them and ensure that verification is done on the spot.
There are over 10 lakh polling booths across the country and more than two lakh vistaraks would be engaged for the membership drive, sources said. These vistaraks will have to work for at least seven days to complete the verification process. The BJP will also take help of volunteers.
“The vistaraks are post holders in the party and have to spare seven days for the drive. However, it is up to them to decide which days they can spare,” said Rao.
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