Opposition BJP and Congress on Tuesday criticised the ruling Biju Janata Dal for making Aadhaar number mandatory for the membership of the regional party, the drive for which was launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday. The BJP accused BJD of threatening people to get membership of the regional party while Congress called it a “political gimmick” to woo voters. “The ruling BJD was initially against the Aadhaar linking with welfare schemes. However, now it has made mandatory for becoming member of the BJD. This is political use of Aadhaar number by any party in the country,” alleged BJP state vice-president, Samir Mohanty.
Former OPCC President, Jayadev Jena alleged that by making Aadhaar linking mandatory for party membership, BJD is planning to keep people mortgaged. BJD vice-president and convenor of the membership drive committee Debiprasad Mishra, however, rejected the allegation of opposition and claimed that the Aadhaar number is used to avoid duplication in the membership of the party. Mishra said the Aadhaar number will ensure that one person will take membership in one place. BJD leader Subash Singh also rejected the opposition allegation. It is up to the people whether to accept the membership or not.
No one is threatened as alleged by the opposition party, he said. BJD president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik had on Monday launched the party’s membership drive which will continue till October 31. Patnaik himself become an active member of the regional party from Bhubaneswar-Ekamra assembly segment and made 24 other members of the party. Patnaik said through the membership drive, the BJD leaders will reach every household across the state. Mishra said the party has set a target of one crore member from its existing membership number of 47 lakh.