Panaji, Mar 31: The Congress in Goa has questioned BJP's world record membership drive, citing the recently concluded local Zilla Panchayat election, where the BJP netted far less votes than its four lakh registered members.
Congress secretary Durgadas Kamat in a statement issued here said there was a big gulf between the four lakh voters registered by the BJP in January this year and the total number of votes polled by the party in the March Zilla Panchayat (ZP) polls.
"The ZP elections in Goa have exposed the BJP fraud numbers game nationally. The BJP in Goa managed to bag just 1,50,674, while in January this year, the party claimed to have registered four lakh members," Kamat said.
"Does this mean that more than two lakh BJP members did not vote for their own party they have just signed up for?" Kamat said in his statement, on a day when the BJP's national leadership claimed that the party with 8.8 crore members was the world's largest political outfit.
"The membership fraud in Goa, is just a small sample of the countrywide membership fraud committed by the BJP's national leadership by inflating their membership numbers," Kamat said. [With 8.79 crore members, BJP becomes world's largest political party]
Reacting to this, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar admitted that the party had won lesser votes, but also defended the four lakh state membership count.
"The Zilla Panchayat elections did not cover municipal areas. That means those members did not vote," Parsekar said.
The BJP, which is in power in Goa, put in a lacklustre performance in the ZP polls.
The BJP's less-than-spectacular performance came at a time when there was no opposition party in the ZP polls, with the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party boycotting the elections.