J&K: Ahead of Assembly polls, BJP eyes 11 lakh members

BJP supporters wear masks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend their support during a public rally ahead of Lok Sabha elections, at Dumi village near Jammu. (PTI Photo)

Ahead of the Assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP aims to register 11 lakh members during a membership drive which is scheduled to begin from July 6 – on the birth anniversary of Syama Prasad Mookerjee – in the restive Himalayan state.

The saffron party has set a target of three lakh members in Muslim dominated region of the Kashmir Valley and an additional target of eight lakh members in the Hindu dominant Jammu region during the drive which will conclude on August 11.
 
Party insiders say that the membership drive would focus on prominent citizens, retired employees and educated youth. The plan has been drafted in a way so that the party manages to win at least five seats in the Valley in the upcoming Assembly polls.
 
“The aim of the drive is to reach every household in the Valley and connect them with the party,” they added.
 
Last month party’s national vice president and in-charge J&K Avinash Rai Khanna while addressing ‘Sadasyata Abhiyaan 2019’ meeting in Kashmir had said that party’s membership drive is to expand its reach and make it inclusive so that it reaches people from all walks of life.
 
“New members will be enrolled through missed calls and through membership form in areas which do not have the mobile network,” he said. 

He also urged the senior party workers to “work hard to reach out to the people and bring them into the party fold.”

 
BJP’s general secretary (Organisation) Ashok Koul said the party’s primary focus will be to rope in senior citizens, retired government employees, prominent citizens including doctors, engineers, teachers and a large number of educated youth.
 
“We will also reach out to the street vendors and make them part of BJP for their welfare,” he said. 

To make the membership drive successful, each active member has to bring 50 members into the party fold, Koul added. He also claimed that the BJP is emerging as the strongest party in Jammu and Kashmir and the ultimate aim is to form the government “on our own.”

 
The BJP’s ‘mission’ to form its own government in the only Muslim majority state in the country dates back to 2014 when riding on the ‘Modi wave’, the saffron party won 25 out of 87 seats in the Assembly elections. 
 
The BJP won all the seats in Jammu region while it could not open an account in Kashmir Valley. However, the saffron party has a different strategy for Kashmir seats this time around and it has groomed separatist-turned-mainstream leader Sajjad Lone and few other leaders as its proxies this time.
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