The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 970.97 million at the end of Dec-14 to 979.21 million at the end of Jan-15, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.85%.
The BJP might be claiming that it has become the world’s largest party by recording a membership of 8.8 crore surpassing the Communist Party of China which had a membership of 8.67 crore but the saffron party’s enrolment drive lacks authenticity. BJP had heavily relied on the use of technology to increase the number of members. A journalist from a leading newspaper had received call from BJP asking him to send his name, address, phone no and email id. Even though the journalist was unwilling to join BJP he continued to receive message from the party asking him to enrol his family members and relatives. If the saffron party has undertaken the enrolment drive in this manner then it is trying to mislead the people. The party won’t be able to prove the genuineness of the data gathered through membership drive. On the other hand, China’s Communist Party is trying to review its membership data to weed out bogus applicants.
The Congress has already questioned the genuineness of the member enrolment drive as many members from the party also received text messages thanking them for joining the BJP.
Congress Party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said, “BJP is called the biggest missed call party. Some Congress leaders have also got messages welcoming them into BJP. They include Congress Legislature Party of Chhattisgarh T S Singhdeo and party spokesperson in the state S N Trivedi. They have also got primary membership numbers.
“This is the miracle of BJP. The same person can enrol for membership from different mobile sets” he added.
A person can give infinite missed calls to any numbers. To show the missed call data, BJP has provided prepaid cards with minimum balance to its call centre employees who were having almost no work after elections to dial on the number.
Ashok Singh a Kandivali resident said, “By giving a missed call or pressing few buttons on the phone does not prove the membership strength for any party. If BJP is thinking that enrolled members will vote them blindly, then rude shock is awaiting for them. These types of gimmick won’t work for longer time.”
Block-level functionaries, MLAs and small time leaders who could actually put efforts towards the progress and constructive efforts, are busy distributing sim cards and encouraging youth for making missed calls on specific number.
The statistics shows that the subscribers for prepaid sim-card have increased tremendously in last nine months in India raising suspicion about the much talked about membership drive.
The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 970.97 million at the end of Dec-14 to 979.21 million at the end of Jan-15, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.85%. The urban subscription increased from 572.29 million at the end of Dec-14 to 575.05 million at the end of Jan-15 and the rural subscription increased from 398.68 million to 404.16 million during the same period. The monthly growth rates of urban and rural subscription were 0.48% and 1.38% respectively.
The overall tele-density in India increased from 77.58 at the end of Dec-14 to 78.16 at the end of Jan-15. The Urban Tele-density increased from 148.06 to 148.54 and Rural Tele-density increased from 46.09 to 46.69 in the month of Jan-15. The shares of urban subscribers and rural subscribers at the end of Jan-15 were 58.73% and 41.27% respectively.
In the month of Jan-15, a total of 3.56 million subscribers submitted their requests for MNP. With this, the cumulative MNP requests increased from 142.98 million at the end of Dec-14 to 146.54 million at the end of Jan-15.
In MNP Zone-I (Northern and Western India), the highest number of requests till date have been received in Rajasthan (about 14.15 million) followed by Gujarat (about 12.00 million). In MNP Zone-II (Southern and Eastern India), the highest number of requests till date have been received in Karnataka (about 16.80 million) followed by Andhra Pradesh (about 13.90 million).
“Mobile phone manufacturer are seen offering dual sim mobiles nowadays to lure youngsters. Some operators offer discounts on data services while some others on voice calls” said Nazir Shaikh a mobile recharge vendor from Kandivali.
“New customers opting for prepaid plans these days just have to pay for the recharge value of the plan and package they have chosen. SIM cards are offered free of cost. Earlier people had to pay three different amounts as for SIM Card + Package + Recharge value and also it is easy on the customer’s pockets as they can switch between service providers” said Jignesh, Jalaram Infotech.
A sales executive from The Mobile Shop, Borivali spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity and said prepaid plans are more popular among customers. He said, “People prefer prepaid connections instead of postpaid as the former offers them more flexibility. Operators too are offering lucrative offers to prepaid customers as compared to their postpaid counterparts. Nowadays we don’t even have to purchase recharge vouchers as the operator themselves setup the selling stands and pays minimal charge to us for it”.
“The activation and verification time taken for availing postpaid connection is almost same as the prepaid plans now, and operators have introduced attractive offers such as Family Plans or Tailor made plans which the customer can customise as per his requirement. Family plan offers customers to share their voice, data and bills with 3 to 4 members of the family” said an official from Planet M Mobile Store, Malad.
BJP’s ambitious, hi-tech online membership drive was launched by Modi on November 1 last year when he became a member by dialling a telephone number followed by Shah who became the second member.