BJP to soon begin membership drive

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has set in motion the process to elect its new president, having announced on Wednesday that it will soon launch a membership drive across the country.

The BJP conducts a membership drive every three years, after the term of its president ends. This is followed by organisational elections in smaller units and, finally, the election of the party chief. The term of incumbent president Amit Shah ended in January this year but his team was given an extension till the end of the general elections.

A BJP leader, who did not wish to be named, said Shah was expected to continue as party president till the organization processes – membership drive and election in states – are over.

“A new president is expected to take over only around December-January,” another BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been appointed convenor of the membership drive that aims to enrol at least 20% new members, BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav said.

The BJP boasts an 11-crore-strong membership base, the highest for any political party in India. “The schedule for the membership drive will be announced within a week,” Yadav said. “Four leaders have been given the responsibility of assisting Chouhan during the drive.”

The decision was taken at a meeting of the BJP’s national office-bearers, being attended by general secretaries and presidents of state units. Shah is chairing the meeting.

At the meeting, Shah was quoted as saying the BJP’s huge victory in the general elections – it won 303 seats — was because of the relentless efforts of party workers. It was because of their efforts that the BJP bagged over 50% votes in at least 220 seats, Yadav said.

Another leader quoted Shah as saying the BJP had not only increased it tally but also its margins in the recent election.

According to Yadav, the party chief told organisational office-bearers that “the party has still not peaked in terms of its electoral performance despite winning the highest-ever 303 seats in 2019”. The BJP’s reach has to be expanded to new regions and sections of the society, Yadav quoted Shah as saying.

He said the BJP had increased its Telangana vote share to 20% despite not putting up a good show in the December assembly elections, and it had to face the heat in Andhra Pradesh because of the anti-Chandrababu Naidu sentiment in that state.

First Published:
Jun 14, 2019 07:07 IST

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