A missed call could mean just that: a missed call. The BJP realised this after losing the parliamentary bypoll in Ratlam-Jhabua, where nearly half the number of people did not vote for it after reportedly becoming party members by giving a missed call on a toll-free number.
After the membership drive came to an end a few months ago, the BJP had claimed that more than one crore people had joined the party in the state and more than eight lakh of them were from areas that make up the Ratlam (ST) Lok Sabha seat.
However, at the bypolls, BJP candidate Nirmala Bhuria got a little less than 4.5 lakh votes and lost by a margin of more than 88,800 votes to Congress’s Kantilal Bhuria who got more than 5.36 lakh votes.
A party leader told The Indian Express that the figures were not fudged during the drive and it was true that all those who became members did not vote for the party. “The dichotomy won’t be seen in other elections unlike Ratlam where anti-incumbency coupled with dissatisfaction with the candidate saw the members switch loyalty,’’ he said.