BJP’s highly successful membership drive, which helped it become the world’s largest political outfit with more than 10 crore members, should not be linked with its poor performance in recent elections, said party president Amit Shah.
Informing that BJP now has 10.43 crore members, Shah, while addressing a press conference here, credited the success of the missed call-based membership drive to millions of party workers, and also called upon them to work even harder so that it translates into votes. He added that the party would take at least five months to complete the three-phase membership programme, which includes scrutiny and training for 15 lakh active members.
However, BJP’s poor performance in the recent civic polls in Bengal, where it drew a blank despite having 42,37,033 members in the state, cast a shadow over the press meet on the party’s enrolment exercise. BJP’s dismal show in West Bengal followed its poor performance in the Delhi assembly elections in February.
Shah, however, attributed the electoral defeat in West Bengal to other reasons. “Had the local police not been there, we would not have lost badly. When neutral polls are conducted by the Election Commission with the help of para-military forces, the results are different,” he said. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had won two seats and garnered 16.8 per cent votes. Ruling Trinamool Congress has swept the polls to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, bagging 114 of the total 144 wards .
The BJP president, however, chose not to link the membership drive with the party’s electoral performance.
“It’s a difficult task (to convert the membership into votes). It’s an initiative and we will try and work towards wooing them to our ideology.”