Bharatiya Janata Party

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Bharatiya Janata Party
भारतीय जनता पार्टी
President Amit Shah
Parliamentary Chairperson Narendra Modi
Lok Sabha leader Narendra Modi
(Prime Minister)
Rajya Sabha leader Arun Jaitley
Former Prime Minister(s) Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Founded 6 April 1980; 34 years ago (1980-04-06)
Preceded by Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Janata Party
Headquarters 11 Ashoka Road,
New Delhi 110001
Newspaper Kamal Sandesh
Student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad
Youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha
Women's wing BJP Mahila Morcha
Peasant's wing BJP Kisan Morcha
Membership 35 million (2013)[1]
Ideology Hindu nationalism
Social conservatism
Gandhian socialism[2]
Integral humanism
Political position Right-wing[3][4]
International affiliation None
Colours      Saffron
ECI Status National Party[5]
Alliance National Democratic Alliance (NDA)
Seats in Lok Sabha
280 / 545
[6](currently 542 members + 1 Speaker)
Seats in Rajya Sabha
43 / 245
[7](currently 242 members)
Election symbol
BJP election symbol.svg
Politics of India
Political parties

The Bharatiya Janata Party (About this sound pronunciation ; translation: Indian People's Party; abbr. BJP) is one of two major parties in the Indian political system, along with the Indian National Congress. As of 2014, it is India's largest political party in terms of representation in the national parliament. It is a right-wing party,[3][4] with close ideological and organisational links to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The roots of the BJP lie in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, formed in 1951 by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. Following the end of the state of emergency in 1977, the Jana Sangh merged with several other parties to form the Janata Party, which defeated the incumbent Congress party in the 1977 general election. After three years in power, the Janata party dissolved in 1980, and the rank and file of the erstwhile Jana Sangh reconvened to form the Bharatiya Janata Party. Although initially unsuccessful, winning only two seats in the 1984 general election, the BJP soon grew in strength on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Following victory in several state elections and increasingly better performances in national elections, the BJP became the largest party in the national parliament in 1996. It was invited to form a government, which lasted only 13 days.

After an election in 1998, the BJP-led coalition known as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formed a government under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that lasted for a year. Following fresh elections, the NDA was able to form a government, again headed by Vajpayee, that lasted a full term in office and was the first non-Congress government to do so. In the 2004 election the NDA suffered an unexpected defeat, and for the next ten years the BJP was the principal opposition party in parliament. In the 2014 general election, long time Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi led the NDA to a landslide victory, and as of 2014, leads the NDA government as prime minister. In addition, as of November 2014, the party holds a majority in seven states.

The stated 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 party also advocates social conservatism and a foreign policy centred on nationalist principles. Key issues for the BJP have included the abrogation of the special constitutional status to Jammu and Kashmir, the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, and the implementation of a uniform civil code for all Indians. However, the NDA governments of 1998–2004 did not pursue any of these controversial issues, and instead focused on a largely neoliberal economic policy centred on globalisation and economic growth above social welfare.


Bharatiya Jana Sangh (1951–77)[edit]

Main article: Bharatiya Jana Sangh

The Bharatiya Jana Sangh, popularly known as the Jana Sangh, was founded by Syama Prasad Mookerjee in 1951 in response to the secular politics of the dominant Congress party. Widely regarded to be the political arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS),[8] a voluntary Hindu nationalist organisation, its aims included the protection of India's "Hindu" cultural identity, and what it perceived to be the appeasement of Muslims and Pakistan by the Congress and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.[9]

The first major campaign of the Jana Sangh was an agitation demanding the complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir into India. Mookerjee was arrested for violating orders preventing him from leading the protest in Kashmir, and died in jail a few months later, of a heart attack. The leadership of the organisation devolved onto Deendayal Upadhyaya, and eventually next-generation leaders such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L. K. Advani. However, the vast majority of the party workers, including Upadhyaya, were still adherents of the RSS. Despite the momentum gained through the Kashmir agitation, the Jana Sangh won just three Lok Sabha seats in the first general elections in 1952. It maintained a minor presence in parliament until 1967. During this period, a uniform civil code for all Indians, banning cow slaughter, and abolishing the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir were among the main points on the party's agenda.[10][11][12]

After nationwide assembly elections in 1967, the party entered into a coalition with several other parties, including the Swatantra Party and the socialists, and formed governments in various states across the Hindi heartland, including Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. This marked the first time that the Jana Sangh had held political office, albeit within a coalition. The constraints of coalition politics also caused the shelving of the Sangh's more radical agenda.[13]

Janata Party (1977–80)[edit]

Main article: Janata Party

In 1975, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed a state of emergency over the country. The Jana Sangh took part in the widespread protest that followed, and thousands of its members joined the host of other agitators in jails across the country. In 1977, the emergency was rescinded and general elections were held. The Jana Sangh merged with parties from across the political spectrum, including the Socialist Party, the Congress (O) and the Bharatiya Lok Dal to form the Janata Party, which contested the election with its main agenda being the defeat of Indira Gandhi.[9]

The Janata Party won a huge majority in 1977 and formed the government with Morarji Desai as prime minister. Vajpayee, who had become the leader of the Jana Sangh after Upadhyaya's death in 1967, was appointed Minister of External Affairs in the new government. However, disagreements over the sharing of power between the various factions of the new party plagued the Janata government, and after two and a half years in power Desai resigned from his position. This precipitated the disintegration of the Janata Party. After a brief period of coalition rule general elections were held in 1980.[14]

BJP (1980–present)[edit]

Formation and early days[edit]

The Bharatiya Janata Party was one of the new parties that emerged from the break-up of the Janata Party in 1980. Although technically distinct from the Jana Sangh, the bulk of its rank and file were identical to its predecessor, and Vajpayee was appointed its first president. Historian Ramachandra Guha writes that despite the factional wars within the Janata government, its period in power saw a rise in support for the RSS, marked by a wave of communal violence in the early 1980s.[15] Despite this rise in support, the BJP initially moderated the Hindu nationalist stance of its predecessor, to gain a wider appeal. This strategy was unsuccessful, as the BJP won only two Lok Sabha seats in the elections of 1984.[16] The assassination of Indira Gandhi a few months prior to the election also contributed to the low tally, as the Congress won a record number of seats.[17]

Influential figures
Deendayal Upadhyaya conceived of "integral humanism," which is the stated philosophy of the BJP
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the first BJP Prime Minister of India (1998–2004)

Babri Masjid demolition and the Hindutva movement[edit]

Further information: Hindutva and Demolition of the Babri Masjid

The failure of the moderate strategy championed by Vajpayee led to a shift in the ideology of the party toward a policy of more hardline Hindutva and Hindu fundamentalism.[16][18] In 1984 Advani was appointed president, and under him the BJP became the political voice of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. In the early 1980s, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had begun a campaign for the construction of a temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Rama at the site of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya. The mosque had been constructed by the Mughal emperor Babur, and there is a dispute about whether a temple once stood there.[19] The agitation was on the basis of the belief that the site was the birthplace of Rama, and that a temple had been demolished by Babur to construct the mosque.[20] The BJP threw its support behind this campaign, and made it a part of their election plank. On the strength of the movement the BJP won 86 Lok Sabha seats in 1989, a tally which made its support crucial to the National Front government of V. P. Singh.[21]

In September 1990, Advani began a "rath yatra" to Ayodhya in support of the Ram mandir movement. The riots caused by the yatra led to Advani's arrest by the government of Bihar, but a large body of Kar Sevaks or Sangh Parivar activists nonetheless reached Ayodhya, and attempted to attack the mosque.[22] This resulted in a pitched battle with the paramilitary forces that ended with the death of several kar sevaks. The BJP withdrew its support to the V.P. Singh government, leading to fresh elections being called. In these elections the BJP once again increased its tally, to 120 seats, and won a majority in the Uttar Pradesh assembly.[22]

On 6 December 1992, the RSS and its affiliates organised a rally involving thousands of VHP and BJP activists at the site of the mosque.[22] Under circumstances that are not entirely clear, the rally developed into a frenzied attack that ended with the demolition of the mosque.[22] Over the following weeks, waves of violence between Hindus and Muslims erupted all over the country, killing over 2,000 people.[22] The VHP was briefly banned by the government, and many BJP leaders, including L.K. Advani were arrested for making inflammatory speeches provoking the demolition.[23][24] Several prominent historians have stated that the demolition was the product of a conspiracy by the Sangh Parivar, and not merely a spontaneous act.[22]

A 2009 report, authored by Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan, found that 68 people were responsible for the demolition of the mosque, mostly leaders from the BJP.[24] Among those named were Vajpayee, Advani, and Murli Manohar Joshi. Kalyan Singh, who was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh during the mosque's demolition, also came in for harsh criticism in the report.[24] He was accused of posting bureaucrats and police officers who would stay silent during the mosque's demolition in Ayodhya.[24] Anju Gupta, an Indian Police Service officer in charge of Advani's security on the day of the demolition, appeared as a prominent witness before the commission. She stated that Advani and Joshi made provocative speeches that were a major factor in the mob's behaviour.[25]

In the parliamentary elections in 1996, the BJP capitalised on the communal polarisation that followed the demolition to win 161 Lok Sabha seats, making it the largest party in parliament.[26] Vajpayee was sworn in as Prime minister, but was unable to cobble together a majority in the Lok Sabha, and had to resign after 13 days.[26]

NDA government (1998–2004)[edit]

A coalition of regional parties had 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 and 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.[27][28] Nonetheless, with outside support provided by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the NDA could muster a slim majority, and Vajpayee returned as prime minister.[29] However, the coalition ruptured in May 1999 when the leader of AIADMK, Jayalalitha, withdrew her support, and fresh elections were again held.

Prime Minister Vajpayee with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2000. India–Russia defence relations rebounded under Vajpayee, with several key military deals being made.[30]

On 13 October 1999, the BJP-led NDA, this time without the AIADMK, won 303 seats in parliament and thus an outright majority. The BJP alone had its highest ever tally of 183. Vajpayee became prime minister for the third time, and Advani became the 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.[31]

In 2001, Bangaru Laxman, then the BJP president, was filmed accepting a bribe of INR100,000 (equivalent to INR220,000 or US$3,500 in 2014)[32] to recommend the purchase of hand-held thermal imagers for the Indian Army to the Defence Ministry, in a sting operation by Tehelka journalists.[33][34] The BJP was forced to make him resign as party president, and he was subsequently prosecuted. In April 2012, he was sentenced to four years in prison and died on 1 March 2014.[35]

2002 Gujarat Violence[edit]

Main article: 2002 Gujarat violence

On 27 February 2002, a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was torched outside the town of Godhra, killing 59 people. The incident was seen as an attack upon Hindus, and sparked off massive anti-Muslim violence across the state of Gujarat that lasted several weeks.[36] Some estimate that the death toll was as high as 2000, while 150,000 were displaced.[37] Rape, mutilation, and torture were also widespread.[37][38] The then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and several high-ranking officials within the government have been accused of initiating and condoning the violence, as have police officers who allegedly directed the rioters and gave them lists of Muslim-owned properties.[39] In April 2009, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate and expedite the Gujarat riots cases. In 2012, Modi himself was cleared of complicity in the violence by the SIT; however, BJP MLA Maya Kodnani, who later held a cabinet portfolio in the Modi government, was convicted of having orchestrated one of the riots and sentenced to 28 years imprisonment.[40][41] Scholars such as Paul Brass, Martha Nussbaum and Dipankar Gupta have said that there was a high level of state complicity in the incidents.[42][43][44]

General election defeat 2004, 2009[edit]

Vajpayee called elections in early 2004, six months ahead of schedule. The NDA's campaign was based on the slogan "India Shining" which sought to depict the NDA government as responsible for a rapid economic transformation of the country.[45] However, the NDA unexpectedly suffered a heavy defeat, winning only a 186 seats in the Lok Sabha, compared to the 222 of the Congress and its allies. Manmohan Singh succeeded Vajpayee as the Prime Minister as the head of the United Progressive Alliance. The NDA's failure to reach out to rural Indians was provided as an explanation for its defeat, as was its "divisive" policy agenda.[45][46]

In May 2008, the BJP won the state elections in Karnataka. This was the first time that the party had won Assembly elections in any South Indian state. However, it lost the next assembly election in 2013. In the 2009 general elections its strength in the Lok Sabha was reduced to 116 seats.[47]

General election victory, 2014[edit]

In the 2014 Indian general election, the BJP won 282 seats, and led the National Democratic Alliance to a tally of 336 seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha.[48] This was the first instance since 1984 of a single party achieving an outright majority in the Indian Parliament[49] and the first time that the BJP achieved a majority in the Lok Sabha on its own strength. The BJP parliamentary leader Narendra Modi was sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India on 26 May 2014.[50][51]

In general elections[edit]

The Bharatiya Janata Party was officially created in 1980, and the first general election it contested was in 1984, in which it won only two Lok Sabha seats. Following the election in 1996, the BJP became the largest party in the Lok Sabha for the first time, but the government it formed was short-lived.[26] In the elections of 1998 and 1999, it remained the largest party, and headed the ruling coalition on both occasions.[31] In the 2014 general election, it won an outright majority in parliament. From 1991 onward, a BJP member has led the opposition whenever the party was not in power.[52]

Year General Election Seats Won Change in Seat  % of votes votes swing Ref.
Indian general election, 1984 8th Lok Sabha 2 Increase 2 7.74 [53]
Indian general election, 1989 9th Lok Sabha 85 Increase 83 11.36 Increase 3.62 [54]
Indian general election, 1991 10th Lok Sabha 120 Increase 35 20.11 Increase 8.75 [55]
Indian general election, 1996 11th Lok Sabha 161 Increase 41 20.29 Increase 0.18 [56]
Indian general election, 1998 12th Lok Sabha 182 Increase 21 25.59 Increase 5.30 [57]
Indian general election, 1999 13th Lok Sabha 182 Increase 0 23.75 Decrease 1.84 [58]
Indian general election, 2004 14th Lok Sabha 138 Decrease 44 22.16 Decrease 1.69 [59]
Indian general election, 2009 15th Lok Sabha 116 Decrease 22 18.80 Decrease 3.36 [59]
Indian general election, 2014 16th Lok Sabha 282 Increase 166 31.00 Increase12.2 [60]

Ideology and political positions[edit]

Social policies and Hindutva[edit]

The official philosophy of the BJP is "Integral Humanism".[61] The BJP expresses a commitment to Hindutva, an ideology articulated by Indian independence activist Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The party asserts that Hindutva is merely cultural nationalism, which favours Indian heritage and culture over westernisation and so Hindutva naturally extends to all Indians regardless of religion.[16] Scholars and political analysts have, however, pointed out that Hindutva ideology as practised by the BJP and its affiliates has largely been an attempt to redefine India in terms of its Hindu heritage, and to recast it as a Hindu country, to the exclusion of other religions, making it a Hindu nationalist party in a general sense.[22][16][62][63] However, since the formation of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 1998, the BJP has slightly moderated its stance on Hindutva, due to the presence of parties with a broader set of ideologies within the coalition.[22][31]

The party's Hindutva ideology has been expressed in several different instances and in many of the policies it has enacted in government. The BJP supports the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya at the site of the Babri Mosque.[62] The party was at the forefront of the agitation to build a temple there during the early 1990s, and this issue was its major poll plank in the 1991 general elections.[62] However, the demolition of the mosque during a BJP rally in 1992 resulted in a backlash against the party that led to a decline in the prominence of the temple in the party's agenda.[62] Hindutva was also brought to the fore in the education policy of the BJP headed NDA government, which reorganised the NCERT and tasked it with extensively revising the textbooks used in Indian schools.[64] Various scholars have stated that this revision, especially in the case of history texts, was a covert attempt to "saffronise" Indian history.[64][65][66][67] The NDA government also introduced Vedic astrology as a subject in college curricula, despite the opposition of several leading scientists.[68]

The BJP has long taken a position against what it calls the "pseudo-secularism" of the Congress party, instead embracing "positive secularism."[62] It supports the enactment of a uniform civil code, which would apply a common set of personal laws to every citizen, replacing existing personal laws that are based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community. According to historian Yogendra Malik, this ignores the fact that differential procedures are required to protect the cultural identity of the Muslim minority.[16][62] It also favours the abrogation of Article 370 from the Indian constitution, which grants a greater degree of autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir in recognition of the unusual circumstances surrounding its accession to the Indian union.[16] Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid out the BJP's interpretation of Mahatma Gandhi's doctrine of Sarva Dharma Sambhava and contrasted it with what he called European secularism.[69] He had said that Indian secularism attempted to see all religions with equal respect, while European secularism was independent of religion, thus making the former more "positive".[70]

The BJP has a stated policy of opposing "illegal" migration into Indian territory from Bangladesh.[63] The party states that this opposition is because such migration, mostly in the states of Assam and West Bengal, threatens the security, economy, and stability of the country.[63] Academics have pointed out that the BJP refers to Hindu migrants from Bangladesh as refugees, and reserves the term "illegal" for Muslim migrants.[63] Academics such as Michael Gillan writes that this is an attempt to use an emotive issue to mobilise Hindu sentiment in a region where the party has not been historically successful.[63][71]

In 2013 the Supreme Court of India reinstated the controversial Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which, among other things, criminalises homosexuality. There was a popular outcry, although clerics, including Muslim religious leaders, stated that they supported the verdict.[72][73] The BJP president said that the party supported section 377, because it believed that homosexuality was unnatural,[74] though its stand has softened after its victory in the 2014 general elections.[75]

Economic policies[edit]

The economic policy of the BJP has changed considerably since its founding in 1980, and there remains a significant range of economic ideologies within the party. In the 1980s the BJP, like the Jana Sangh before it, reflected the thinking of the RSS and its affiliates. It supported Swadeshi, or the promotion of indigenous industries and products, and a protectionist export policy. However, it supported internal economic liberalisation, and opposed the state-driven industrialisation favoured by the Congress.[76]

By the time of the elections in 1996, the BJP had shifted its stance away from protectionism and toward globalisation; its election manifesto recommended increasing foreign investment in priority sectors, while restricting it in others. When the party took power at the centre in 1998, it shifted its policy even further in favour of globalisation. The tenure of the NDA saw an unprecedented influx of foreign companies into India.[76] This invited criticism both from the left parties, as well as from the affiliates of the BJP like the RSS and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch.[76] The communist parties suggested that the BJP was attempting to appease the World Bank and the United States government through its neoliberal policies.[76] A similar view was expressed by the RSS, which stated that the BJP was not being true to its Swadeshi ideology.[76] The tenure of the two NDA governments from 1998 to 2004 saw India's GDP growth increase substantially. The campaign slogan of the BJP in the 2004 elections was "India Shining," a slogan that tried to call attention to the perceived shift in the economy, and to the party's belief that the free market would bring prosperity to all sectors of society.[77] However, the party suffered an unexpected defeat, with commentators stating that the NDA had been penalised for neglecting the needs of the poor and marginalised, and focusing too much on its business and corporate allies.[45][46][78]

This shift in the economic policies of the BJP has also been seen at the level of the state governments, especially in Gujarat, where the BJP has held power for 16 uninterrupted years.[79] The government of Narendra Modi, which was in power from 2002 to 2014, has pursued a strongly neoliberal agenda, presented as a drive towards development.[80][81] Its policies have included extensive privatisation of infrastructure and services, as well as a significant rollback of labour and environmental regulations. While this has invited praise from within the business community, commentators have criticised it as catering to the BJP's upper class constituency at the expense of the poor.[80][82]

Defence and terrorism[edit]

The Bharatiya Janata Party takes a relatively more aggressive and nationalistic position on defence policy and terrorism.[83][84] The BJP led NDA government carried out a test of nuclear weapons, and enacted the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which later came under heavy criticism.[83][84] It also deployed troops to evict infiltrators from Kargil, and supported the United States War on Terror.[85]

Although previous Congress governments had developed the capability for a Nuclear weapons test, the Vajpayee government broke with India's historical policy of avoiding nuclear weapons and authorized Pokhran-II, a series of five nuclear tests in 1998.[83] The tests came soon after Pakistan tested a medium range ballistic missile of its own. They were seen as an attempt to display India's military prowess to the world, as well as a reflection of anti-Pakistan sentiment within the BJP.[83]

The Vajpayee government also ordered the Indian armed forces to take all measures to expel fighters from Pakistan who had occupied territory in Kashmir, in what became known as the Kargil War.[86][87] Although the Vajpayee government was later criticised for the intelligence failures that failed to detect the presence of the Pakistani fighters, the response was successful in ousting them from the disputed territory.[86][87]

In response to the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001, the NDA government passed the Prevention of Terrorism Act.[84] The stated aim of the act was the improve the government's ability to deal with terrorism.[84] The act initially failed to pass in the Rajya Sabha; therefore, the NDA took the extraordinary step of convening a joint session of Parliament, where the numerical superiority of the Lok Sabha allowed the bill to pass.[84] The act was subsequently used to prosecute hundreds of people accused of terrorism.[84] However, it was criticised by parties in the opposition as well as by scholars for being an infringement upon civil liberties, and the National Human Rights Commission stated that it had been used to target Muslims.[84] It was later repealed by the Congress led UPA government in 2004.[88]

Foreign policy[edit]

The historical stance of the BJP towards foreign policy, much like its predecessor the Jana Sangh, was based on an aggressive Hindu nationalism combined with economic protectionism.[89] Leading RSS and BJP figures criticised the more conciliatory foreign policy of the Congress as running contrary to India's "militant" past.[89] The Jana Sangh was founded with the explicit aim of reversing the partition of India; as a result, its official position was that the existence of Pakistan was illegitimate.[89] This antagonism toward Pakistan remains a significant influence in the party ideology.[89][90] The BJP and its affiliates have also strongly opposed India's long standing policy of nonalignment, and instead advocate closeness to the United States.[89]

The foreign policy of the NDA government led by Vajpayee in many ways represented a radical shift away from BJP orthodoxy, while maintaining some aspects of it.[76][90] Contrary to RSS philosophy, the government significantly relaxed a host of protectionist measures designed to safeguard Indian industry, a move which was severely criticised within the Sangh Parivar.[76][90] Vajpayee also courted criticism from his party for adopting a much more moderate stance with Pakistan. In 1998, Vajpayee made a landmark visit to Pakistan, and inaugurated the Delhi–Lahore Bus service.[89] He also signed the Lahore Declaration, an attempt to improve Indo-Pak relations that had deteriorated in the aftermath of the 1998 nuclear tests.[89] However, the presence of Pakistani soldiers and militants in disputed Kashmiri territory was discovered only a few months later, precipitating the 1999 Kargil War, which ended without any territory changing hands.[89]

Despite the war, Vajpayee continued to display a willingness to engage Pakistan in dialogue, which was not well received among the BJP cadre, who criticised the government for being "weak".[89] The hawkish faction of the BJP asserted itself at the post-Kargil Agra summit, preventing any significant deal from being reached.[89]

Organisational structure[edit]

The organisation of the BJP is strictly hierarchical, with the President being the highest authority in the party.[61] Until 2012, the BJP constitution had mandated that any qualified member could be national president or state president for a single term of three years.[61] In 2012, this was amended to a maximum of two consecutive terms of three years each.[91] Below the president is the National Executive, which contains a variable number of senior leaders from across the country, and which is the higher decision making body of the party. Among its members are several vice-presidents, general-secretaries, treasurers and secretaries, who work directly with the president.[61] An identical structure, with an executive committee led by a president, exists at the state, regional, district, and local level.[61]

The BJP remains largely a cadre based party. It has close connections with other organisations with similar ideology, such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The cadres of these groups often supplement that of the BJP, and the rank and file of the BJP is largely derived from the RSS and its affiliates, loosely known as the Sangh Parivar.[61]

Other associates of the BJP include the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), which is the students' wing of the RSS, the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, their farmers' division, and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, which is their labour union associated with the RSS. The party also has subsidiary organisations of its own, such as the BJP Mahila Morcha, which is its women's division, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, its youth wing, the BJP Minority Morcha, its minority division.[61]

Presence in various states[edit]

As of October 2014, states with BJP governments are shown in orange (7), and NDA governments in brown (4). States where the BJP is a significant opposition party are in yellow (7), and states where other NDA members are significant opposition parties are in pink (2)

As of October 2014, the BJP holds a majority of assembly in seven states: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Goa, Haryana and Maharashtra. In three other states and one Union Territory – Punjab, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry respectively – it shares power with other political parties of the NDA coalition. The BJP has previously been the sole party in power in Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, and Delhi. It has also ruled Odisha, Bihar, and Jharkhand as part of coalition governments.[92]

List of Current NDA Chief Ministers[edit]

No State/UT Govt Since Chief Minister CM's Party CM Since Seats in Assembly Seats Percentage
1 Gujarat 28 February 1998 Anandiben Patel Bharatiya Janata Party 22 May 2014 120/182 66
2 Chhattisgarh 4 December 2003 Raman Singh Bharatiya Janata Party 7 December 2003 49/90 54
3 Madhya Pradesh 4 December 2003 Shivraj Singh Chouhan Bharatiya Janata Party 29 November 2005 165/230 72
4 Punjab 13 February 2007 Prakash Singh Badal Shiromani Akali Dal 1 March 2007 68/117 58
5 Nagaland 8 March 2008 T. R. Zeliang Nagaland People's Front 24 May 2014 38/60 63
6 Puducherry 13 May 2011 N. Rangaswamy All India N.R. Congress 16 May 2011 15/30 50
7 Goa 6 March 2012 Laxmikant Parsekar Bharatiya Janata Party 8 November 2014 24/40 60
8 Rajasthan 8 December 2013 Vasundhara Raje Bharatiya Janata Party 13 December 2013 163/200 82
9 Andhra Pradesh 16 May 2014 N. Chandrababu Naidu Telugu Desam Party 8 June 2014 106/175 61
10 Haryana 19 October 2014 Manohar Lal Khattar Bharatiya Janata Party 26 October 2014 47/90 52
11 Maharashtra 19 October 2014 Devendra Fadnavis Bharatiya Janata Party 31 October 2014 122/288[93] 43

List of presidents of the party[edit]

No. Year Name Note Ref.
1 1980–86 Atal Bihari Vajpayee (cropped).jpg Atal Bihari Vajpayee [94]
2 1986–91 Lkadvani.jpg L. K. Advani First term [94]
3 1991–93 Murli Manohar Joshi 2.jpg Murli Manohar Joshi [94]
(2) 1993–98 Lkadvani.jpg L. K. Advani Second term [94]
4 1998–2000 Kushabhau Thakre [94]
5 2000–01 Bangaru Laxman [94]
5 2001–02 Jana1.JPG Jana Krishnamurthi [94]
6 2002–04 Venkaiah Naidu.jpg Venkaiah Naidu [94]
(2) 2004–06 Lkadvani.jpg L. K. Advani Third term [94]
7 2006–09 Rajnath singh.png Rajnath Singh First term [94]
8 2009–13 Nitin Gadkari 7.JPG Nitin Gadkari [94]
(7) 2013–14 Rajnath singh.png Rajnath Singh Second term [94]
9 2014–present Amit Shah [95]

See also[edit]

Notes and References[edit]

  1. ^ HT Correspondent. "PM Modi, Shah open doors for new BJP members". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Bharatiya Janata Party 2013.
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Further reading[edit]

  • Baxter, Craig (1971) [first published by University of Pennsylvania Press 1969]. The Jana Sangh - A Biography of an Indian Political Party. Oxford University Press, Bombay. ISBN 0812275837. 
  • Graham, B. D. (1990). Hindu Nationalism and Indian Politics: The Origins and Development of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-38348X. 
  • Malik, Yogendra K.; Singh, V.B. (1994). Hindu Nationalists in India : The Rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-8810-4. 
  • Jaffrelot, Christophe (1996). The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. ISBN 978-1850653011. 
  • Mishra, Madhusudan (1997). Bharatiya Janata Party and India's Foreign Policy. New Delhi: Uppal Pub. House. ISBN 81-85565-79-1. 
  • Sharma, C.P. Thakur, Devendra P. (1999). India under Atal Behari Vajpayee : The BJP Era. New Delhi: UBS Publishers' Distributors. ISBN 978-81-7476-250-4. 
  • Bhambhri, C.P. (2001). Bharatiya Janata Party : Periphery to Centre. Delhi: Shipra. ISBN 81-7541-078-7. 
  • Nag, Kingshuk (2014). The Saffron Tide: The Rise of the BJP. Rupa Publications. ASIN B00NSIB0Q4. ISBN 978-8129134295. 

External links[edit]