Backward members boost BJP's poll prospects

About two dozen social activists from the backward classes joined the Delhi BJP on Tuesday, amid signs of the party preparing to strengthen its base ahead of possible fresh Assembly elections.

Among those who joined the party included Ruby Yadav, an independent candidate who contested the recent Lok Sabha elections from the South Delhi constituency and got 56,749 votes. The BJP’s MP from the seat, Ramesh Bidhuri, beat his nearest rival from the Aam Aadmi Party by a margin of 1.07 lakh votes.

Yadav expressed happiness over joining the saffron party and said she was looking to strengthen the organisation in the coming days.

Asked if she would contest the Assembly elections, she said: “The decision will have to be taken by the party leaders. I will take up any responsibility that is given to me.”

Delhi BJP in-charge and MP Prabhat Jha refused to comment on the issue of government formation in the city. He said the decision will have to be taken by the central leadership.
The BJP is the largest party in the 70-member Assembly, whose current strength is 67. The party has the support of 29 legislators, the AAP has 27 members, the Congress has eight members and there are three others.

Jha said a membership drive launched by the party had gained momentum and there was an overwhelming response in east Delhi areas. The party is looking to enrol around two lakh people in the drive.

The main membership campaign of BJP was due in 2015, but after the recent elections the party found a spurt in the number of people willing to join the party, so the party decided to launch a two-week special campaign from June 15, he said.

“A large number of people, especially from the oppressed classes are joining the party,” he said, sharing district-wise figures of the enrolments.

Party sources said during the drive the party was focusing on enrolling people who have their own NGOs or are members of resident welfare associations or traders’ associations.
“Professionals like doctors, chartered accountants and engineers are also being encouraged to join the party,” said a leader.

North West Delhi MP Udit Raj, who also addressed the media, said the BJP’s popularity among the backward and oppressed classes was growing and this was reflected in the willingness of people from these communities to join the party.

The party is also likely to name a new Delhi BJP chief once the current incumbent and Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan returns from his five-day US visit.

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