BJP's expansion plans: Focus on states where presence is less
New Delhi: With an aim of expanding its reach across the country, BJP is laying additional thrust in its ongoing membership drive on seven states as well as the north-east region where its presence is limited.
The party has dedicated one senior functionary to focus full time on a single assembly constituency each in the states of Odisha, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Assam to garner the maximum membership possible which could later help the party in the polls, party sources said.
Against this, a senior functionary will focus on a Lok Sabha seat in other states, where the party is strong. During the last Lok Sabha elections, BJP could win only a few seats in these states and ended up way behind regional parties despite the “Modi wave”. The only exception was Assam where it won seven out of 14 seats.
Party President Amit Shah is keeping an almost daily tab on the progress of the membership campaign, the sources said. “This is part of the drive to make the country BJP-yukt (full of BJP),” a source said.
The party's renewed membership drive was launched on November one by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. BJP, which has been working on ‘Congress-mukt Bharat (Congress-free India)' campaign, is paying special attention to the states where it is not strong or has negligible presence.
While in Odisha it has been in power in a coalition government with BJD, the party is making strong efforts to make a breakthrough in states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
In West Bengal, BJP has emerged as the main challenger to Mamata Banerjee-led TMC and is trying to gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu where it contested the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with small parties and won two out of 39 seats. BJP could win only one seat in Odisha but party believes it could emerge as the principal challenger to the ruling Naveen Patnaik-led BJD replacing Congress.