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The BJP’s real membership target is 130 crore

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In about 10 months after Narendra Modi first became Prime Minister in 2014, the BJP announced it had become the world’s largest political party. With 8.8 crore members, it claimed to have surpassed the Communist Party of China.

You’d think this would be enough, but they didn’t stop at that. The BJP keeps doing its membership drives every now and then. When exit polls showed Modi was certainly returning to power in 2019, the BJP’s social media channels immediately started asking people to fill up online membership forms.

Last month, after yet another membership drive, the BJP announced it has now crossed 18 crore members.

One polling booth can cater to about maximum 1,400 voters. How many party workers do you think are needed to woo 1,400 voters? The BJP has a ‘panna pramukh’ system. There’s one worker for every page of the electoral roll, which has 60 voters. So, if the BJP needs one party worker for every 60 voters, it needs about 23 panna pramukhs per polling booth. Add a few more senior workers, and you could say a good polling booth might have 30 BJP workers. That’s a lot of party workers.

India has 10 lakh polling booths. The BJP says it has 18 crore members. That’s 180 people per polling booth.

Also read: BJP now has more members than the population of all but 7 countries

Phulpur in east Uttar Pradesh used to be Jawaharlal Nehru’s constituency. I have been visiting a particular village in Phulpur every election since the 2012 UP assembly election. When I first went there in 2010, I asked the Congress worker what he thought the Congress should do to revive itself in UP.

“I am from a traditional Congress-voting Brahmin family. I have seen many political waves come and go, be it Mandal or Mandir, the SP or the BSP. I could easily have........

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