BJP becomes largest political party in the world NEW DELHI: The ruling BJP has become the largest political party in the world with its enrolment drive in the past five months taking its membership to 8.80 crore. The Communist Party of China was until now considered the largest party with about 8.60 crore members. Sources said the party hit the 8.80 crore mark on Sunday and the BJP expects its membership to cross 10 crore by the end of this month, exactly what it had aimed for when it launched the drive in November last year. Party president Amit Shah will announce the final figure at the national executive to be held in Bangalore on April 3-4. The ambitious membership drive was Shah's idea. He views a base of active members as a device for consolidating BJP's freshly-achieved pre-eminence. READ ALSO: Make BJP diverse like India, Narendra Modi tells cadres Sceptics say the groundswell in membership is no reliable reflection of the party's actual strength on the ground, and that while PM Narendra Modi's popularity and the party's current influence may draw thousands into the fold, their loyalty will remain suspect and they might bolt when the going gets tough. Sources in the party maintain that the enrolment through missed calls is a huge improvement over the old practice where block-level functionaries would mention names of purported members to meet targets. The leadership had no way of independently verifying these claims. In the new scheme, the party can scrutinize registrations by calling up numbers from where missed calls originated. The phone numbers also provide the party with a way to maintain 'live' contact with members to update them on developments and explain decisions as well as the context in which they are taken. READ ALSO: Delhi school Ryan International tells teachers, kids to join BJP Mobile phones are also viewed as vehicles for propagating the party's policies and to counter the criticism of opponents. The membership drive will officially come to an end on March 31 but there are chances that it may be extended in a few states like Maharashtra where, according to the party, a large number of people are still calling to register themselves with BJP. After UP, where it has set a target of 1.5 crore, Maharashtra is expected to fetch the maximum number of members for the party. Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have both already accounted for more than 80 lakh members. BJP general secretary Ram Madhav last week hailed the achievement saying the party had added one crore members in the eight days starting March 15. The number increased steadily last week with another one crore joining. Shah is now using the membership drive to also measure BJP's strength in states which are headed to polls later this year and in 2016. The party'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. "BJP's 8 crore members crossed," Madhav said last week, adding that the first 10 million were added in 30 days, the second in 22 days and the third in 13 days. He said the party added the fourth such unit in 16 days, the fifth in 18 days and the sixth in the subsequent 21 days. The last 20 million were added in 15 days and eight days respectively. The speeding up of the membership drive comes amid hectic meetings and tours by Shah to various states to step up the effort and finalize the drive by the end of this month.