The Bharatiya Janata Party will elect its President Amit Shah’s successor in December, the party’s Working President JP Nadda announced on Thursday. The booth-level elections will start from October 10, followed by district, state and nation-level polls.

Nadda was appointed working president in June after Shah took oath as Union home minister. The BJP president has a term of three years, and is entitled to a second term.

Nadda said the BJP’s membership was likely to touch 18 crore after the addition of seven crore members. He said the party was still collecting the data of the new members, who joined after a membership drive.

Nadda said the initial target was to recruit 2.2 crore members. “Only eight countries have population more than BJP’s cadre size,” Hindustan Times quoted him as saying. The party received a great response in West Bengal, where 10 lakh members enrolled, and Jammu and Kashmir, where six lakh members came into the fold, he added. The target in West Bengal was one lakh new members.

This was the second round of the saffron party’s membership drive. It started on July 6 and concluded on August 20. The first round was held in 2015, when its strength reached 11 crore. It then became the world’s largest party.

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