Rise in BJP’s membership numbers: China’s Communist Party ‘shocked’

The BJP’s expansion has been so massive that it has displaced the century-old Communist Party of China as the largest political party in the world.

Written by September 11, 2019 18:21

New Delhi: Communist Party of China(CPC) looks shocked after the BJP membership drive ended and CPC is now want to understand the factors for this rise. CPC was the largest party in the world until 2015 when the BJP surpassed it by enrolling 8.8 crore members.

The BJP’s expansion has been so massive that it has displaced the century-old Communist Party of China as the largest political party in the world. While the CPC, the lone political party of the most populated country in the world, has a membership count of 90 million, the BJP claims to have over 110 million members.

BJP’s delegation that visited China in the last week of August revealed that CPC officials had a lot of questions on the membership structure and campaign of the party.”How did the BJP build its organisation in the past five years? How does the BJP use its party machinery during elections? How does the BJP conduct its membership drive?”

The same kind of campaign was carried out, with a huge success, following the 2014 elections, after which the BJP claimed an exceptional increase in membership from 20 million in 2014 to 100 million by the end of 2016. Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms had become sites of registration and anyone could become a member with just a missed call to a mobile phone number.

The BJP leader said that even though the CPC does not contest elections, its members were curious about the phenomenal rise of the party under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah. He added that they were stunned to learn that the BJP’s membership numbers are likely to touch 18 crores.

Need for a party to party, people to people interaction

The BJP delegation stressed on the fact that while there is government to government interaction, there is a need for a party to party and people to people connect too. The visit by BJP leaders comes in the run-up to the second edition of an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which will be held in Mamallapuram between 10-12 October.

“We told them that there is a need to enhance party to party interaction on specific topics including trade, health, education, culture among others,” the BJP leader.

The popularity of Bollywood was also a point of discussion, with the CPC leaders asking India to leverage that. “They told us that Bollywood movies are quite popular in China and have a lot of demand and this should be explored further,” said a senior BJP leader.

The BJP delegation met CPC standing committee member Ye Zhenqin, Guo Yezhou, vice-minister of the CPC’s international department and Song Tao, the head of the international department.

They also handed over a letter from Home Minister Amit Shah addressed to Chinese President Xi Jinping. A CPC delegation is expected to visit India soon, details of which are being worked out.

‘Made India’s stand clear on Article 370’

The BJP leader said the CPC members told them that the Modi government’s move of doing away with Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir had changed the dynamics between India and China. However, the BJP delegation asserted that it is an internal matter of the party and there has been no change in the existing boundaries, he added.

The BJP faced a big perception battle as the public had questioned the need for the visit, with China openly criticising India’s move on Article 370, the Indian delegation told the CPC leaders.

“Article 370 is completely an internal matter of India and there has been no change in India’s map or boundaries. Because of China’s views and actions on the global platform we fought a perception battle in India and despite that we wanted to continue with our visit,” said Vijay Chauthaiwale, who heads the BJP’s foreign policy department. “This is a clear indication that we are keen to continue the dialogue process.”