Buoyed by the performance of the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has set a target of increasing its number of members from 55,000 to 2 lakh in the state during a drive to be launched next month.
The organisation also demanded implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in order to drive out Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators from the state, VHP national secretary Sachindranath Singha said here on Friday.
But before implementing the NRC, the interest of the Hindu refugees from Bangladesh should be taken care of via the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, he said.
"According to the 2017 membership drive data, we have around 55,000 members in the state. Now we are launching another drive and have set a target to make at least 2 lakh members," Singha said.
The membership drive will begin from November 17 and will end on December 1.
"There is a growing interestin the VHP and its activities in Bengal. We are hopeful of surpassingour target," Singha told reporters.
The saffron camp, including the BJP and its ideological fountainhead RSS, has made deep inroads in West Bengal in the last few years.
In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, only four less than the ruling Trinamool Congress' 22.
During its recent membership drive, the BJP has clocked a staggering 78 lakh membership in the state.
Speaking on the implementation of the NRC in West Bengal, Singha said the demography in the state's bordering districts has completely changed in the last 10 yearsdue to infiltration by Bangladeshi Muslims.
But the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill should be put into effect before the NRC to give citizenship status to Hindu refugees from Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries, he said.
"The demography of 60 Assembly seats bordering Bangladesh has changed completely. Those seats have Muslim majority and the TMC is eyeing those seats to win the Assembly election in the state," Singha said.
Singha referred to an incident in the Lok Sabha in 2005 when Banerjee as a TMC MP had tried to raise the issue of illegal infiltration in West Bengal. After she was denied permission, Banerjee had thrown papers at the then deputy speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal.
"Mamata Banerjee had opposed infiltration from Bangladesh as the infiltrators were then used as a vote bank by those in power at that time. Now, the TMC is doing the same," he claimed.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)