Bhopal: Christians, Muslims on BJP membership radar

  • Shams Ur Rehman Alavi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Dec 27, 2014 17:43 IST

Notwithstanding the row over 'Ghar Vapasi', the state unit of the BJP is sweating it out to bring the members of the minority communities into the partyfold.

The BJP has drawn an ambitious plan to add 10 lakh new members and said the controversy over religious conversions hasn't affected their drive in the state.

Earlier this week, the BJP minority morcha leaders held a 'chai choupal' at Qazi camp, a Muslim-dominated locality in Bhopal, in which nearly 1,700 Muslims joined the party on the spot. Similar events are being held in all the districts.

"The target to enrol 1 lakh Muslims members had been achieved in the past. Now the next target is to get 10 lakh members from both the communities till March 2015," said a BJP functionary on conditions of anonymity.

BJP minority morcha chief Hidayatulla Sheikh said that the figure of 10 lakh may appear too big, but insisted that it was realistic. "For example, if we have 10,000 active members across the state and each are told to get 100 members, then the target is achievable," Sheikh says.

"It's quite cold and hence we organise the chai choupals. We go to a locality, have tea with the local residents, tell them about our party and its policies and many of them enthusiastically join us," he said.

Sheikh said that a meeting with Christian community members was held five days ago and a major meet would be held soon. "Our state party president Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan and other senior leaders would be present. Once we get the consent, we would inform them the date," Sheikh further said. "Muslims are joining party actively and this is the reason," he added.

The special efforts to woo Muslims and Christians are part of the BJP's ongoing drive to increase the party membership. When BJP national president Amit Shah had come to Bhopal recently, he had told the party workers to take the membership figure to two crore in the state.

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