The BJP's claim of massive success for its special membership drive in Uttar Pradesh, where the party's downward curve continues, has ironically brought to the fore continued factional feud in the party's state unit with dissidents questioning the claim.
"At the time when the party is ridden with infighting and is facing one of the biggest problems at the highest level, it was wrong in the first place to have launched any such membership drive and it would still be childish to claim such a high figure as ten lakh new members", a party leader, considered a detractor BJP chief Rajnath Singh, said in Lucknow on Thursday.
Aiming potshots at the state unit president Ramapati Ram Tripathi, a Rajnath-loyalist, he said that after the drubbing in assembly byelections as well as last Lok Sabha polls the state unit, "instead of putting the house in order went in for membership drive and to hide its shortcomings presented bloated figures to the media".
Another leader said motivating people to join the party at this juncture is very difficult for workers and district, block and village level leaders who themselves are demoralised.
The state BJP leadership, however, defended the membership drive. "The membership drive was launched to reinvigorate the party after the recent below-par showing in elections and also to involve workers and leaders in some constructive work", a leader close to the state leadership, who is not not authorised to speak to the media, said on condition of anonymity.