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BJP to launch membership drive in Odisha today; targets 40 lakh in six years

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 8:

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Information and Braodcasting minister Prakash Javadekar will launch the party’s nationwide membership drive in Odisha today.

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The party hopes to enroll 40 lakh members in the state in the next six years, BJP sources said.

The Odisha in-charge of the party and national coordinator of the party’s membership drive, Arun Singh, has already arrived here for the purpose.

The party will hold a preparatory meeting on the ambitious membership drive today. It plans to have at least ten percent of the targeted membership to be active members.

Singh, candidates who had fought the April elections, state party office bearers, state executive members and national executive members will be closeted in a meeting to devise strategies and programmes to achieve the set target.

Party spokesman and senior leader Suresh Pujari told reporters that the party will restrict today’s activities to the membership drive campaign in the state.

”After today’s meeting, we will be visiting zones, blocks and the villages to enroll members for the party. Today’s programme can be called a ceremonial launch of the membership drive in the state,” he said.

Pujari explained that a member’s membership in his party expires after six years of enrolling and one has to renew it in order to continue as a party member. Apart from renewal of membership of existing members, new members will be enrolled during the drive, he said.

He said that the party’s national membership drive was formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 1 in New Delhi.

The party has decided to move beyond its initial plan of recruiting members through technology-enabled platforms like online registrations or “missed calls”. The party is now going all out seeking new supporters across India through direct contact with the voters.

PM Modi had launched the drive using the digital media by registering himself as the first member of the party. In the first 24 hours of the launch, the membership had crossed 20 lakhs, party sources said.

The idea of making direct contact with the people came from Prime Minister Modi’s emphasis on horizontal instead of vertical development. At the centre of horizontal development policy is the inclusion of remote villages in the economic growth map.

Party workers will go to the villages, railway platforms, bus stands and other crowded places, informing people about the BJP’s ideology, BJP sources said.

According to these sources, people would be initially given primary membership. Thereafter, details of the member would be sent for scrutiny at the block-level to verify the credential of the member and to check the entry of criminals and tainted persons into the party fold. One can become an active member of the party after remaining a primary member for two years.

The nationwide drive now aims to reach the target of 10 crore, making it the world’s largest political organization. The drive will go on till March 31, the sources said.