Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP): History, Election Results

About Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)


The Bharatiya Janata Party Indian People's Party is the current ruling political party of the Republic of India.

It is one of the two major political parties in India, along with the Indian National Congress.

As of 2019, it is the country's largest political party in terms of representation in the national parliament and state assemblies and is the world's largest party in terms of primary membership.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - Logo

BJP is a right-wing party, and its policy has historically reflected Hindu nationalist positions.It has close ideological and organisational links to the much older Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The BJP's origin lies in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, formed in 1951 by Syama Prasad Mukherjee.

After the State of Emergency in 1977, the Jana Sangh merged with several other parties to form the Janata Party; it defeated the incumbent Congress party in the 1977 general election.

After three years in power, the Janata party dissolved in 1980 with the members of the erstwhile Jana Sangh reconvening to form the BJP.

Although initially unsuccessful, winning only two seats in the 1984 general election, it grew in strength on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Following victories in several state elections and better performances in national elections, the BJP became the largest party in the parliament in 1996; however, it lacked a majority in the lower house of Parliament, and its government lasted only 13 days.

After the 1998 general election, the BJP-led coalition known as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed a government that lasted for a year.

Following fresh elections, the NDA government, again headed by Vajpayee, lasted for a full term in office; this was the first non-Congress government to do so. In the 2004 general election, the NDA suffered an unexpected defeat, and for the next ten years the BJP was the principal opposition party.

Long time Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi led it to a landslide victory in the 2014 general election. Since that election, Modi has led the NDA government as Prime Minister and as of February 2019, the alliance governs 18 states.

The official ideology of the BJP is integral humanism, first formulated by Deendayal Upadhyaya in 1965.

The party expresses a commitment to Hindutva, and its policy has historically reflected Hindu nationalist positions.

The BJP advocates social conservatism and a foreign policy centred on nationalist principles. Its key issues have included the abrogation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the building of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya and the implementation of a uniform civil code. However, the 1998–2004 NDA government did not pursue any of these controversial issues.

It instead focused on a largely liberal economic policy prioritizing globalization and economic growth over social welfare.

 

Key Description of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP):


President: Jagat Prakash Nadda

Headquarters: 11 Ashoka Road, New Delhi - 110001

Newspaper: Kamal Sandesh

Alliance: National Democratic Alliance

Founders: Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat

Leadership: Jagat Prakash Nadda (President)

Parliamentary Chairperson: Narendra Modi (Prime Minister)

Lok Sabha Leader: Narendra Modi
(Prime Minister)

Rajya Sabha Leader: Thawar Chand Gehlot
(Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment)

Founded: 6 April 1980 (40 years ago)

Split From: Janata Party

Preceded by: Bharatiya Jana Sangh (1951–1977)
Janata Party (1977–1980)

Headquarters: 6-A, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg,
New Delhi-110002

Ideology:

  • Integral Humanism
  • Hindutva
  • Conservatism
  • Social conservatism
  • National conservatism
  • Right-wing populism
  • Hindu nationalism
  • Economic nationalism
  • Cultural nationalism

Slogan: The Party with a Difference

ECI Status: National Party Alliance , National Democratic Alliance (All India)

Official Website: www.bjp.org

Social Network: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

 

History of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP):


The BJP's origins lie in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, popularly known as the Jana Sangh, founded by Syama Prasad Mukherjee in 1951 in response to the politics of the dominant Congress party.

It was founded in collaboration with the Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and was widely regarded as the political arm of the RSS.

The Jana Sangh's aims included the protection of India's "Hindu" cultural identity, in addition to countering what it perceived to be the appeasement of Muslim people and the country of Pakistan by the Congress party and then-Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

The RSS loaned several of its leading pracharaks, or full-time workers, to the Jana Sangh to get the new party off the ground. Prominent among these was Deendayal Upadhyaya, who was appointed General Secretary. The Jana Sangh won only three Lok Sabha seats in the first general elections in 1952. It maintained a minor presence in parliament until 1967

 

BJP (1980–Present): Although the newly formed BJP was technically distinct from the Jana Sangh, the bulk of its rank and file were identical to its predecessor, with Vajpayee being its first president. Historian Ramachandra Guha writes that the early 1980s were marked by a wave of violence between Hindus and Muslims.

The BJP initially moderated the Hindu nationalist stance of its predecessor the Jana Sangh to gain a wider appeal, emphasising its links to the Janata Party and the ideology of Gandhian Socialism.

This was unsuccessful, as it won only two Lok Sabha seats in the elections of 1984.

The assassination of Indira Gandhi a few months earlier resulted in a wave of support for the Congress which won a record tally of 403 seats, contributing to the low number for the BJP.

 

NDA Government (1998–2004): Further information: National Democratic Alliance
A coalition of regional parties formed the government in 1996, but this grouping was short lived, and mid-term polls were held in 1998.

The BJP contested the elections leading a coalition called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which contained its existing allies like the Samata Party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Shiv Sena in addition to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Biju Janata Dal.

Among these regional parties, the Shiv Sena was the only one which had an ideology similar to the BJP; Amartya Sen, for example, called the coalition an "ad hoc" grouping.

The NDA had a majority with outside support from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Vajpayee returned as Prime Minister.

However, the coalition ruptured in May 1999 when the leader of AIADMK, Jayalalitha, withdrew her support, and fresh elections were held again.

On 13 October 1999, the NDA, without the AIADMK, won 303 seats in parliament and thus an outright majority. The BJP had its highest ever tally of 183.

Vajpayee became Prime Minister for the third time; Advani became Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister.

This NDA government lasted its full term of five years. Its policy agenda included a more aggressive stance on defence and terror as well as neo-liberal economic policies.

In 2001, Bangaru Laxman, then the BJP president, was filmed accepting a bribe of ₹100,000 (equivalent to ₹320,000 or US$4,500 in 2019) to recommend the purchase of hand-held thermal imagers for the Indian Army to the Defence Ministry, in a sting operation by Tehelka journalists.

The BJP was forced to make him resign and he was subsequently prosecuted. In April 2012, he was sentenced to four years in prison.

 

NDA government (2014–Present): In the 2014 Indian general election, the BJP won 282 seats, leading the NDA to a tally of 336 seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha.

Narendra Modi was sworn in as the 14th Prime Minister of India on 26 May 2014.

The vote share of the BJP was 31% of all votes cast, a low figure relative to the number of seats it won.

This was the first instance since 1984 of a single party achieving an outright majority in the Indian Parliament[93] and the first time that it achieved a majority in the Lok Sabha on its own strength.

Support was concentrated in the Hindi-speaking belt in North-central India. The magnitude of the victory was not predicted by most opinion and exit polls.

Political analysts have suggested several reasons for this victory, including the popularity of Modi, and the loss of support for the Congress due to the corruption scandals in its previous term.

The BJP was also able to expand its traditionally upper-caste, upper-class support base and received significant support from middle-class and Dalit people, as well as among Other Backward Classes.

Its support among Muslims remained low; only 8% of Muslim voters voted for the BJP.

The BJP was also very successful at mobilising its supporters, and raising voter turnout among them.

In 2019, the BJP won the general election with a majority.

General Election Results:

Year Legislature Party leader Seats won Percentage of votes Outcome
1984 8th Lok Sabha Lal Krishna Advani 2 / 533 7.74% Opposition
1989 9th Lok Sabha Lal Krishna Advani 85 / 545 11.36% Outside support for NF
1991 10th Lok Sabha Lal Krishna Advani 120 / 545 20.11% Opposition
1996 11th Lok Sabha Atal Bihari Vajpayee 161 / 545 20.29% Government, later opposition
1998 12th Lok Sabha Atal Bihari Vajpayee 182 / 545 25.59% Government
1999 13th Lok Sabha Atal Bihari Vajpayee 182 / 545 23.75% Government
2004 14th Lok Sabha Atal Bihari Vajpayee 138 / 543 22.16% Opposition
2009 15th Lok Sabha Lal Krishna Advani 116 / 543 18.80% Opposition
2014 16th Lok Sabha Narendra Modi 282 / 543 31.34% Government
2019 17th Lok Sabha Narendra Modi 303 / 543 37.46% Government

 

List of Prime Minister of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP):

No. Prime Ministers Portrait Term in Office Lok Sabha Constituency
Term Start Term End
1 Atal Bihari Vajpayee 16 May 1996 1 June 1996 11th Lucknow
19 March 1998 10 October 1999 12th
10 October 1999 22 May 2004 13th
Served 6 years 80 days as Prime Minister
2 Narendra Modi 26 May 2014 30 May 2019 16th Varanasi
30 May 2019 (Incumbent) 17th
Currently serving as Prime Minister for 6 years, 11 days

 

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