The BJP has decided to increase its membership by 20 per cent keeping the Assembly polls in mind. The membership drive will commence from July 6.
The party plans to enroll 20 lakh new members, increasing its membership from 1.07 crore to 1.27 crore. In 2015, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was the BJP president then, had launched a membership drive for the party across the country. At the end of the exercise, the BJP enrolled 11 crore members across the country. The Maharashtra BJP enrolled the highest members at 1.07 crore.
“We have urged the cadre to reach out to larger number of Dalits, tribals and Other Backward Class people during the drive,” a senior party general secretary, requesting anonymity, said.
The state unit has made it clear that party workers will become eligible for holding any office post only if they enroll 50 new members, a condition many believe is not difficult after the Lok Sabha election results.
The state unit is likely to retain Raosaheb Danve as the working party president. The core committee led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will drive political strategies and plans for organisational expansion. “Our theme is ‘Saab ka saath, saab ka vikas’. It holds true for governance and party politics. The integral aspect of our politics is welfare of individuals with focus on poor and oppressed segments across caste, community and religion,” Fadnavis said.
Party sources believe the expansion drive won’t be confined to the Assembly segments held by the BJP and Shiv Sena but also the Assembly seats held by non-BJP parties. In the 2014 Assembly elections, the BJP won 122 seats, Shiv Sena 63, Congress 42, NCP 41 and smaller allies/independents together 20.
However, state NCP chief Jayant Patil said, “The BJP’s politics has strong overtones of agenda driven by the RSS. Therefore, it is difficult to believe Dalits, minorities and backward classes will become a part of the right wing family.”