BJP on Sunday claimed to have enrolled 11 crore members across the country as party president Amit Shah kick-started a mega outreach programme here for its eight northern state units to connect with the newly-inducted as well the masses.
"These 11 crore members will not be used as a means to gain political power but be made a partner in nation building," Shah said after launching the 'Mahasampark Abhiyan' for the northern states.
"Amit Shahji discussed the idea of connecting more with the people now... Formal verification and induction of the members would also be carried out (during the Abhiyan)," BJP national secretary Bhupendra Yadav said at a press conference after the meet.
"Since the launch of our membership drive, we had sought to connect with and bring in more people, who believe in our party. We had set a target of 10 crore but it has even crossed that, and by April this year, it reached the 11-crore mark," general secretary (Organisation) Ram Lal said.
"Workshops would be held in the month of August for party workers and new members... Our idea is to strengthen the party at not just state or district level but also at mandal level," Lal said, adding, "We will also tell our new members and people in general about our party's history and the work done during this one-odd year of the NDA government."
The programme was attended by party MPs, MLAs, state unit chiefs, mayors, among others from the eight state units --Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan. Union ministers Harsh Vardhan, Birender Singh, J P Nadda were present at the meet.
BJP renews its membership drive every six years, and Shah said that "2015 was a successful year in that sense."
Party MP Meenakshi Lekhi said, "Most of the members are new. The party earlier had a membership of few crores."
Asked if controversies like the Lalit Modi row and Vyapam case would have any impact on the morale of party workers, she said, "Everyone has their own agenda, media has its own agenda. But our agenda is of development and connecting with the people. And, that's why we are here."
On the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections, BJP national secretary Yadav said, "The Legislative Council poll results have been encouraging but we will continue to make efforts to connect with the people there."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to address a public rally in Bihar on July 25. "And, we are gearing up for the Bihar elections and to register a victory with a two-third majority," he added.
Party leader Ram Lal asked BJP members to open and maintain an insurance account of Rs 12 under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana for at least one girl who ties a 'Rakhi' on their wrist during the 'Mahasampark Abhiyan'.
Meanwhile, a group of people from Rajasthan, who claimed to be BJP workers, reached the meeting venue and threatened to quit the party alleging that the state of affairs of education in private sector was getting worse due to apathy of a senior BJP minister in the state.
"We have come all the way from Rajasthan because we have become disillusioned with the state of affairs of education in private sector there. We had become members of BJP through missed call procedure but now because of one party leader, the situation is getting difficult," claimed Hemlata Sharma, who led the group.
"We also handed over a petition to Amit Shahji in this regard. We are doing this protest out of helplessness."