The Congress’ spectacular performance in the Lok Sabha as well as Assembly polls seems to have done little to win the party new members. The party has less than 1.4 lakh members in the metropolis against BJP’s five lakh and Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s three lakh. Congress Central Election Authority Chairman Oscar Fernandes, who had had convened a high-level meeting to take stock of the membership drive across the country, was shocked at the dwindling numbers. The tally, said party sources, is the lowest Mumbai has recorded in the last two decades. The meeting, held as part of Congress organisational polls scheduled for in June-July 2010, was attended by Union ministers Sushilkumar Shinde, Vilasrao Deshmukh, chief minister Ashok Chavan, MPCC president Manikrao Thakre and Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh. Fernandes took the state party functionaries to task for their casual approach. Congress’ membership problems are not just restricted to Mumbai. Thakre, under whose leadership the party managed to mobilise less than 16 lakh members, submitted three reasons for the poor performance. First, the entire organisation was busy with the Lok Sabha polls last year, followed by state assembly polls, later with the formation of the new government under the leadership of Chavan and stringent membership rules. It was brought to the notice of Thakre that even small states like Punjab, more than 25 lakh members were registered, while in Tamil Nadu, 75 lakh members were registered. On the new rules, the leader said now the AICC has made it mandatory that a membership form must be accompanied by the photograph of the member. Bureau report – NMTV News.