India’s current ruling Bharatiya Janata Party or as it is commonly referred to as BJP, has proclaimed to be the world’s largest political organization. It appears BJP has surpassed the Communist Party of China, with 88 million members.
An aggressive enrollment drive by India’s BJP, partly fueled by the popularity of its current Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured millions of new members within a span of just five months. The party has a set a lofty target of 100 million, but the present numbers declared are higher than the Chinese party’s announced strength of 86.7 million as of mid-2014. Provided the Communist Party of China hasn’t had any significant additions in the recent months, India’s BJP may be right in claiming the title.
Ironically though, the total number of members may have little to do with the party’s clout and political strength, however that hasn’t stopped the political organization from proudly proclaiming that the numbers are clear indicator of the Hindu nationalist party’s ascendancy in India. Some zealous political leaders have extended the importance of numbers to challenge China’s supremacy in Asia.
While the party is elated, rivals have raised their suspicions on how the BJP has reported such a high figure. Many argue that the party counts as a member anyone who calls a telephone hotline and leaves their name and address. Moreover, there are high chances that many might have called the number repeatedly, to inflate the figure.
But BJP isn’t budging. The party claims its leaders and campaigners spread the word through door-to-door campaigning, billboards and local meetings. Additionally, the party says that more than 140 million additional people have called the hotline without leaving their names, leading officials to believe they can mine those numbers to meet their 100 million goal before the membership drive ends April 30.
What’s interesting to note is while the BJP is enthusiastically pursuing and persuading anyone who dares call their number, the Communist Party of China has been trying to reduce the number of people it allows into the organization.
To meet President Xi Jinping’s goal of recruiting more “dedicated cadres to cut down on corruption”, the party leadership last year released guidelines saying that new members should be enlisted in a “prudent” manner. As a result, the party witnessed a 25.5 percent drop compared to previous year’s enrollment.
[Image Credit | Jagran]