Eying influential local leaders, BJP to launch membership drive
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has set a target of making at least 50 party members at the ward level ahead of the 2022 UP assembly polls. After the ongoing booth verification campaign, which saw UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev and other senior state leaders personally visiting various booths to verify booth committees, the BJP would launch a mega membership campaign aimed at adding more voters to the party, BJP leaders said.
“Various party activities have been delayed due to the demise of Kalyan Singh ji. Then President Ram Nath Kovind’s four-day visit also kept chief minister Yogi Adityanath ji and other senior leaders engaged. Now, both the party and the government would be launching various campaigns,” a BJP leader said.
The membership campaign would be carried out at the booth-level and is also aimed at connecting with influential local leaders from other parties. “There are local leaders in various parties who may not be that well known outside their ward or city but have local connect. We will try and reach out to them too,” a BJP leader said.
A few days back, the BJP got former BSP coordinator Ajit Balyan from Aligarh and All India Congress Committee member Ajay Shanker Dwivedi from Jaunpur to join the party.
“There are others too whom the BJP has been getting from other parties,” said a party leader indicating towards the likes of Priti Tiwari, former women wing chief of UP Congress and Murli Manohar Jaiswal, the former BSP candidate from Barhaj in Deoria. “We welcome all to the BJP where the respect of each and every one of you is assured,” UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev said.
“On Wednesday, the Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav said in Hardoi that everyone was welcome in his party. We too are doing the same thing. The difference is that while the SP leader is trying to send out a subtle message to leaders of other parties to join his party, we are assuring those who have come to us get respect,” a BJP leader said while claiming that several leaders from various parties were in touch with BJP.
“This is an interesting game of political one-upmanship being played out between two parties in UP. We recently saw how UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev met Mulayam Singh, the Samajwadi Party founder and patron, ostensibly to invite him to the memorial meet for Kalyan Singh and Mulayam Singh ji cleverly made a statement urging the state BJP chief to join BJP,” said veteran journalist Irshad Ilmi.