BHUBANESWAR: The ruling BJD’s decision to make Aadhaar number mandatory for membership of the party has come in for strong opposition from the Congress and BJP.
Describing the decision as a ‘political gimmick’ to woo voters before the civic body polls, former president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Jaydev Jena alleged that by making Aadhaar linking mandatory for party membership, BJD is planning to keep people mortgaged.
BJP State vice-president Samir Mohanty said the ruling BJD was initially against Aadhaar linking with welfare schemes. However, it has now made it mandatory for becoming a member of the BJD. “This is political use of Aadhaar number by any party in the country,” he alleged.
However, BJD vice-president and convenor of the membership drive committee Debi Prasad Mishra rejected the allegations and maintained that Aadhaar linking has been made mandatory for membership to avoid duplication. He said the Aadhaar number will ensure that a person will take membership in one place.
BJD leader Subash Singh also rejected the opposition allegation. “It is up to the people to accept the membership or not. No one is threatened as alleged by the opposition party,” he said.
On Monday, BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had launched the party’s membership drive which will continue till October 31. Naveen himself became an active member of the regional outfit from Bhubaneswar-Ekamra Assembly segment and enrolled 24 others in the party.