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May 6, 2008

Wikipedia: Bharatiya Janata Party

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Bharatiya Janata Party
Party chairperson Rajnath Singh
General Secretary Arun Jaitley
Parliamentary Party Chairperson Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Leader in Lok Sabha Lal Krishna Advani (Opposition)
Leader in Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh (Opposition)
Founded 1980
Headquarters 11, Ashoka Road,
New Delhi – 110001
Alliance National Democratic Alliance
Seats in Lok Sabha 138
Seats in Rajya Sabha 48
Political ideology Hindutva
Indian nationalism
Integral humanism
Conservatism
Publications BJP Today
Website http://bjp.org
See also the politics of India series

The Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] (Hindi: भारतीय जनता पार्टी [भाजपा], translation: Indian People’s Party), created in 1980, is a major centre-right Indian political party. It projects itself as a champion of the socio-religious cultural values of the country’s majority community, conservative social policies, self reliance, strong economic growth, foreign policy driven by strong nationalist agenda, and strong national defense. Its constituency is strengthened by fellow members of the set of Hindu nationalist organizations informally known as the Sangh Parivar in which the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh plays a leading role.

The BJP, in alliance with several other parties, led the Government of India between 1998 and 2004, under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, its most senior leaders. It is the leading party within the National Democratic Alliance and leads the opposition.

Contents

History

Part of a series on
Hindu politics

Major parties

Bharatiya Janata Party
Shiv Sena
Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha

Defunct parties
Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Ram Rajya Parishad

Ideas

Integral humanism
Hindu nationalism
Hindutva

Major figures

Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar
Keshava Baliram Hedgewar
Syama Prasad Mookerjee
Deendayal Upadhyaya
Bal Thackeray

Related authors

Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
Koenraad Elst · Francois Gautier
Sita Ram Goel · K. S. Lal
Harsh Narain · Yvette Rosser
Arun Shourie · Ram Swarup


Politics · Govt of India


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Origins

The Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS, Indian People’s Union) was founded in 1951 by Syama Prasad Mookerjee, a Bengali nationalist leader, former Union Minister and freedom-fighter. It was considered the political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. But the fortunes of the young party took a dip in 1953, when Mookherjee was jailed in Kashmir by then Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. After his death in custodt, the BJS lasted for 24 more years, but was never seriously challenged the Indian National Congress, the only political structure since India’s independence, for a political majority. However, the party nourished future leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Political oppurtunism

BJP’s politics give a probably correct impression that it has to be regarded as a contemporary legatee of many medieval deccan dynasties like chalukyas etc. There are a number of strong reasons behind this. BJP has had its origins in the karnataka-maharashtra-andhra region, the home to the above mentioned dynasties. The political activities of BJP in tamilnadu like supporting a non-existent matha at kanchi etc, show that it wants to gain foothold in tamil south. BJP , Has previously attempted and still continues to covertly and overtly take up the management and “ownership” of ancient temples of tamil nadu. For this purpose it is working alongside pseudo-scholars, and pseudo-intellectuals to forge an identity to connect it to those temples historically. It has already created its own versions of many available ancient texts and documents of ancient tamil dynasties, with the help of pseudo-intellectuals. The RSS organization regularly brings in people at different position who take up tamil names and claim to be “tamil brahmins”. It has also attempted to systematically spread misinformation that these “brahmins”(whom it has sponsored) were the ones who have descended from(references: www.bharathavarsha.com/iyer.html) those who were patronized by ancient tamil clans (chola/pallavas), even though it is well known that the former were inveterate foes of the latter and that during that age there was a perpetual trade embargo implemented most effectively by the cholas. The term “iyer” used by southern BJP functionaries is a very recent one and not prevalent during ancient times. If not looked into properly this can boil down to the conflict like the Israeli-Arab conflict in the middle east. It is worthwhile noting that the present Srilankan “tamil” problem is a direct result of unauthorized , illegal , colonizations from deccan during late medieval times. A good number of these people are from deccan. With the help of anti-socials and vested interests within the state of TN and south they create an identity for themselves linking them to the state from remote past. The usual modus operandi is by trying to enter into matrimonial relationships with those who are presumed to be “natives”.

The tainted kanchi acharya is known to be a hardcore supporter of both BJP and shiv sena and those parties have used that falseful math’s influence to gain political ascendancy.But this is not only for generally known motives of gaining power in tamil south. The less known reason seems to be the fact that BJP, considering the humiliating defeat and further annihilations suffered by medieval deccani dynasties like chalukyas etc at the hands of the powerful and imperialist ancient tamil royal races of cholas and pallavas,sees an oppurtunity now centuries after the demise of the above mentioned tamil royalties, to make up for those humiliations.Infact, this did not happen all of a sudden. foundations of this were laid by titular(under british supervision) deccan chiefs of tanjore from 18th century on and to a lesser extent by the nayaks of vijayanagar dynasty. All of whom came down atleast a few centuries after the demise of the brilliant chola empire. The nayak “chiefs” and their “nobles” are also guilty of manipulating and forging the available authentic grants belonging to cholas and pallavas and also smuggling a few. It is well known fact that the deccani dynasties among the others were natural enemies of the powerful chola and pallava emperors and the latter never really considered giving up their enmity with the former, renewing it time and again by dispatching exceptionally predatory expeditions to deccan.

These activities point to the astonishing level of opportunism displayed by BJP and their sly character. Considering BJP as a political option violates the most fundamental, universal and timeless truth about rights to governance.

When Indira Gandhi imposed a state of emergency in 1975, postponing elections and misusing major central powers granted to her by the Constitution, the BJS joined a coalition of parties in active protest. Several of its leaders were arrested, including Vajpayee. But when Gandhi called elections in 1977, the BJS invested all its political and organizational capital in merging into the new Janata Party, a unified opposition party. A mixture of socialists, regionalists, and former Congressmen, the party was united in opposition to the Emergency and Indira Gandhi. The Janata Party defeated Indira Gandhi’s Congress Party in a landslide victory and formed a government under Morarji Desai’s leadership. Vajpayee, the most senior BJS leader, became Minister for External Affairs. His close friend and political comrade Lal Krishna Advani became the Minister for Information and Broadcasting.

The Janata Party government lasted for two years, and following its collapse, Indira Gandhi’s Congress returned in a thunderous landslide victory. When the Janata Party imploded, the nucleus of the BJS reorganised themselves.

Early years

The BJP was founded in December 1980, under the direct leadership of the duumvirate of Vajpayee and Advani. In the 1984 Lok Sabha elections, in which the Congress Party won a massive landslide victory following Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the BJP obtained only 2 seats out of 543. But in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 88 seats. It supported the Janata Dal-led coalition of V.P. Singh. On October 23, 1990, BJP leader L.K. Advani was arrested by the Chief Minister of Bihar, Laloo Prasad Yadav, due to his agitation for the construction of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya. The BJP withdrew its support of this government, and it collapsed the next month.

In the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP became the premier opposition party, and the Congress government functioned as a minority. During this time, the Janata Dal, the other major offshoot of the Janata Party, saw itself crumble into regional factions, and many leaders opted for the BJP.

The First BJP Government (May 16 – 31st, 1996)

In 1996, the BJP became the single-largest political party in the parliament, with the Congress at its lowest tally ever. The President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, appointed Vajpayee as Prime Minister although he could not enlist the support of 271 MPs in the Lok Sabha.[1] However, non-Congress, non-BJP parties were able to gain a majority of support and so Vajpayee was obliged to resign after serving the shortest time as prime minister in India – 13 days. A broad centre-left coalition government that proved its majority known as the United Front took over.

The Second BJP Government (March 19, 1998 – October 13, 1999)

Lok Sabha elections were again held in 1998, and the NDA National Democratic Alliance obtained a simple majority. This time, the BJP (NDA) had allied with the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal besides its existing allies, the Samata Party, the Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiv Sena. Outside support was was provided by the Telugu Desam Party. The NDA had a slim majority, and Vajpayee returned as Prime Minister. [3] But the coalition ruptured in May 1999 when the leader of AIADMK, Jayalalitha, withdrew her support, and fresh elections were again called.

The NDA government provided significant support to the Prasar Bharati Act which gave government owned media channels more autonomy. The Act had been passed by the National Front government with BJP support. The government provided significant support to the Prasar Bharati Act which gave government owned media channels more autonomy.

The new Government carried out an electoral promise with the 5 nuclear tests at Pokhran, in Rajasthan in 1998, which gave India a weaponised nuclear capacity. [2]

The Vajpayee administration also oversaw the country’s defenses during the Kargil War, where the Indian military performed recovered strategic mountain posts from Pakistani irregulars who had occupied ground on the Indian side of the Line of Control.

The Third BJP Government (October 13, 1999 – May 13, 2004)

On October 13, 1999, the BJP-led NDA won as many as 303 seats. The BJP won an all-time high of 183. Vajpayee won his third term as Prime Minister, and Advani became the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister. This NDA Government lasted for its full five years.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance passed the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act in 2002, a law increasing the powers of police authorities and intelligence agencies in an effort to curb subversive political activities and terrorism. The POTA was promulgated chiefly in response to the December 13, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Union Parliament. [4]

Vajpayee and his economic team, led by Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, pushed through major privatizations of big government corporations, the liberalization of trade under World Trade Organization rules, opening the skies to commercial airlines, foreign investment and ownership and developed “Special Economic Zones” where industries could enjoy special infrastructure. The government especially catered to the rising information technology industry, and lowered taxes for middle-class Indians and businesses. Record increases in agricultural and industrial production were matched by hungry middle-class consumers, and increasing foreign trade and investment. In 2004, the Government signed the South Asia Free Trade Agreement with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, a decision intended to vastly benefit over 1.6 billion people.

Vajpayee took a personal interest in the Golden Quadrilateral project, a road system which aimed at linking the four corners of the nation with heavy, industrial roads. His education programs boosted the enrollment of children into primary schools, expanded aid for schools and pushed new-age technologies to improve schooling.[3]

Vajpayee was responsible for three efforts to build peaceful relations with Pakistan. In 1999, he rode on the inaugural Delhi-Lahore bus, and signed the Lahore Declaration with the Pakistani Prime Minister, committing India to peace. In 2001 Vajpayee invited Pakistan’s military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, to Delhi, though the summit failed. And despite the terrorist attacks that froze relations for two and a half years, Vajpayee, in a speech to Parliament in August 2003, spoke of his “absolute last attempt of my life” to foster peace with Pakistan, de-freezing relations and invoking praise from world leaders.

The 2000 Tehelka scam severely affected the credibility of the NDA Government and saw the Congress and its allies boycotting Parliament. As a result, the then BJP President, Bangaru Laxman, and the Defense Minister, George Fernandes, resigned.

After the 2004 General Election

The BJP and the NDA suffered a shock defeat in the general elections in 2004, and failed to muster a parliamentary majority. A.B. Vajpayee passed on the prime ministership to Dr. Manmohan Singh of the Congress Party, and its United Progressive Alliance.

After the defeat was clear, several prominent BJP members including Sushma Swaraj and L.K. Advani, protested that Sonia Gandhi should not be permitted to hold the Prime Minister’s office because of her Italian birth and other factors such as her lack of fluency in any Indian language, and her failure to take Indian citizenship for almost 15 years after her wedding to Rajiv Gandhi in spite of her claims to have “become an Indian in her heart the day she became Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law”. [5]

The defeat was incomprehensible to most pollsters and political analysts, who assumed that the BJP would win on the basis of Vajpayee’s widespread popularity, the national economic boom and the revival of the peace process with Pakistan. Following the defeat, there was a perception amongst parts of the party cadre that the party had expected victory to come easy and thus volunteers of the organisation had not worked hard enough to canvass voters and recruit supporters, and that the political campaign of BJP had remained confined to television, radio and SMS (mobile phones). There was also a belief that socio-religious organizations close to the BJP (the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad), offered little assistance in these elections, due to the BJP government’s non-pursuit of the Ayodhya temple issue, uniform civil code, and other ideological staples, and the attitude of many BJP leaders that the BJP did not require their aid to be successful. Independent analysts saw the defeat arising from a backlash by large classes of people who had not benefitted from the economic growth as well as a failure by the party to secure strong allies. The BJP slogan of “India Shining” and the “Feel Good Factor” boomeranged. The most plausible theory is that India’s elections are still on the basis of local factors. The BJP did incredibly well in states where it had recently won or where there was anti-incumbency (I.E. Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Rajastan, Chattisgarh), but was badly beaten in states where it tied up with unpopular ruling parties (I.E. the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and TDP in Andhra Pradesh). Caste combinations were another factor in its loss.

BJP election poster 2004 in Bengali.

BJP election poster 2004 in Bengali.

Key Events:

2004:

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharati resigns as she is charged in a dated case related to hoisting the Indian tricolour in a minority area.
  • Party President Venkaiah Naidu quits, paving the way for Lal Krishna Advani to take up the post.

2005:

  • The BJP derives political mileage out of the Congress party’s use of governors to bring down its government in Goa, and preventing it from forming a government in Jharkhand and Bihar post-elections. The BJP eventually forms a government in Jharkhand and wins a second set of elections in Bihar with the JD(U).
  • During a visit to Pakistan, party President LK Advani creates controversy he names the country’s founder, Muhammed Ali Jinnah, “secular”. The impending flack from his party leads to the premature end of his tenure at the end of the year.
  • The party faces embarrassment in a sting operation where journalists offer money to MP’s to raise questions in Parliament. Six of the ten expelled parliamentarians are from the party.

2006

  • Rajnath Singh, a former Union Minister and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, takes over as BJP Party President.
  • Former Chief Ministers Uma Bharati (Madhya Pradesh), Babulal Marandi (Jharkhand) and Madan Lal Khurana (Delhi) officially leave the BJP to float their own political fronts.
  • The BJP aligns with the JD(S) to form a coalition in Karnataka, its first government in South India.
  • An array of opposition parties engineer the collapse of the Arjun Munda government in Jharkhand and prop up an independent BJP rebel, Madhu Koda, as Chief Minister.
  • Former Union Minister and urban face of the BJP, Pramod Mahajan, is shot dead by his own brother.

2007

  • The BJP-SAD alliance regains power in Punjab, with the BJP winning almost all of its contested seats. In Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, the BJP regains power from the Congress, and posts its fourth consecutive victory in Gujarat. However, the party faces a major setback in Uttar Pradesh, where its tally dips to its lowest in 20 years and its traditional vote banks are eroded. The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance retain power in Mumbai’s municipal corporation, while the BJP regains power in the Delhi municipal corporation.
  • The Janata Dal (Secular) refuses to hand over the Chief Minister’s post to the BJP as agreed upon, leading to the downfall of the alliance government in Karnataka. After the JD(S) decides to reverse its decision, B.S. Yediyurappa becomes the BJP’s first southern CM. When the JD(S) once again goes back on its word after a week, Yediyurappa resigns.
  • The party faces more tragedy as former Delhi CM Sahib Singh Verma dies in a road accident and former party President Jana Krishnamurthy passes away.
  • The party approves of 33% reservation for women in all bodies of the party, including the National Executive, the first party in India to put forward such a measure.
  • The party formally declares Leader of the Oppostion, Lal Krishna Advani, as BJP’s Prime Ministerial Candidate.
  • Narendra Modi successfully fights anti-incumbency to win a third term in office as the Chief-minister of Gujarat.
  • According to Tamil Nadu state BJP president L. Ganesan , BJP would form an alliance with AIADMK before the 2009 Tamil Nadu polls.

Ideology

The BJP is a religious conservative political organisation. It sees itself as rising to the defence of Indian culture, and Indian religious systems which include Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. To many Hindu nationalists, Bharat is a Hindu Rashtra, literally a Hindu nation.

According to BJP, this definition does not exclude Muslims or Christians. Hindu Rashtra is portrayed as cultural nationalism and Hinduism as the entire complex system of culture, history, faith and worship that have evolved in India over the past thousands of years. In the political language of Hindu nationalists, all the peoples of India, their cultures and heritage are “Hindu,” which literally means “inhabitant of the land of the river Sindhu,” the modern-day Indus.

While the draft manifestation of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (The organization that spawned the BJP) mentions the “Hindu Rashtra”, the BJP has historically raised objections to this view. The party’s chief objective is the “building up of India as a modern, progressive and enlightened nation” which draws inspiration from India’s ancient Hindu culture and values. The key theorist of the party, K. Upadhyaya, authored the publication titled Integral humanism which laid down the foundations for this view. According to Upadhyaya, the so-called “monarch” and “state” are the dharma and the chiti (genius) of society. He asserted that the very source of meaning in Indian society is the concept of “national identity”. The BJP stresses the importance of integrating the four ends of human life in accordance with Hindu scripture ie, kama (gratification), artha (wealth), dharma (faith), and moksha (spiritual release).[4]

The BJP has been accused of being a xenophobic and fascist organization by its opponents. Its supporters, on the other hand, argue that it is no more than a conservative, nationally-oriented party which does not wish to polarise the country on communal (religious) grounds. These accusations are largely regarded as a smear campaign against the BJP by left-wing pundits. In addition, accusations of “fascism” in BJP the Hindutva movement coming from the left wing parties and western academics such as Christophe Jaffrelot have been criticized by former professor of political philosophy[5] and Times of India commentator Jyotirmaya Sharma as a “simplistic transference [that] has done great injustice to our knowledge of Hindu nationalist politics”.[6]

The life and work of the BJP is seen by many as strongly influenced by the Partition of India in 1947. The partition was traumatic legacy for most religious communities in India. Millions migrated to find safety in one of the two new states. During the chaos surrounding partition over half a million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, were killed in communal riots wake of horrendous carnage. The trauma of midnight evacuations of ancestral homes, and being forced to wade through murderous violence, chaos and confusion to despair and helplessness in a different land which became their home, has struck deep in the veins of Hindu nationalists.

Another important factor in the ideological construction of the ideology of BJP is the ongoing territorial dispute over Jammu and Kashmir and the wars of 1947-48, 1962, 1965, and 1971 and recently the 1999 Kargil War. The BJP and its supporters feel India must remain vigilant against threats from Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China, and elsewhere such as Bangladesh and even LTTE from Sri Lanka[citation needed][original research?].

The BJP has often been accused of participation in religious violence and using religiously sensitive issues for political advantage. Many left wing journalists and observers feel that the BJP is a fascist organization with a clear anti-Muslim bias. However, the party has promoted a number of Muslims like Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the late Sikandar Bakht and Dr. Najma Heptulla into prominent leadership position, and even had a prominent member of the Indian Jewish community, J. F. R. Jacob, among their ranks.

Main article: Ram Janmabhoomi

BJP has certain demands and actions that are explicitly controversial, and give rise to charges of fomenting communal tensions. The Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya is probably the most important of such issues. The site is believed by many Hindu’s to be the birthplace of deity Ram. In 1528, the existing mandir was destroyed by a Mughal leader and replaced by the Babri Masjid. Demands for the replacement of the mosque with a temple existed since then, but the campaign became aggressive in the 1970s and 1980’s. On December 6, 1992, emotional manipulation turned to violence as a parade of protestors burst upon the mosque and tore it down with pickaxes and shovels. The resulting country-wide outburst of anger, murder, looting and burning resulted in over 1,000 deaths. In the aftermath of the communal violence many sectors felt that the secular fabric of India was threatened. The VHP was banned and Advani and other leaders of the BJP were arrested. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are two BJP leaders on a CBI chargesheet for the destruction. Despite the arrests, the political power of BJP continued to grow rapidly.

BJP justifies the demolition of Babri Mosque on its website as follows:

Thus, the seeds of today’s Hindu Jagriti (awakening) were created the very instance that an invader threatened the fabric of Hindu society which was religious tolerance. The vibrancy of Hindu society was noticeable at all times in that despite such barbarism from the Islamic hordes of central Asia and Turkey, Hindus never played with the same rules that Muslims did… The destruction of the structure at Ayodhya was the release of the history that Indians had not fully come to terms with. Thousands of years of anger and shame, so diligently bottled up by these same interests, was released when the first piece of the so-called Babri Masjid was torn down… The future of Bharat is set. Hindutva is here to stay… Hindutva will not mean any Hindu theocracy or theology. However, it will mean that the guiding principles of Bharat will come from two of the great teachings of the Vedas, the ancient Hindu and Indian scriptures. ”.[7]

Ideological Rift Between RSS and BJP

From the days of the Ayodhya movement, the BJP has had to adopt more realistic goals to remain politically viable and build alliances with regional parties, many which have taken a cautious stand towards the BJP’s pursuit of Hindutva. This has created a noticeable rift between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party in ideological terms.[8] The RSS, from where a good deal of BJP leaders have migrated, has sought the party to take a more aggressive stand on ideological issues such as the building of the Ayodhya mandir and the adoption of a Uniform Civil Code. It prefers an swadeshi economic model of “Hindu socialism” which is highly focused on self-sustenance and communal projects to help the common man. Furthermore, the RSS is a strong proponent of mass governance, where party workers and ministers should come together to make decisions rather than having certain leaders with total power.

The BJP, while in power at the Centre, did not pursue ideological tenets such as Ayodhya or the Civil Code, to ensure that its allies continued their support. Economic policy under BJP-led governments at the state and centre has been heavily focused on infrastructure building and pro-reform, market-oriented economic growth. The party has seen the rise of regional ‘personality’ politicians with their own followers, and infighting amongst the central leaders has been publicized by the media. [9]The aggressive courtship of celebrities, industrialists, sportspersons and other popular figures by the BJP has been a bone of contention with the RSS. Furthermore, the increase in incidence of corruption by party members has once again publicized the straying of the party from its parent organization. After the BJP lost at the centre, some party leaders believed the reluctance of the RSS and its associate organizations to support an ideologically different party had led to the loss. This eventually led to the emergence of Rajnath Singh, a leader very close to the RSS, to the party President’s post in 2006. [10]Unfortunately, his tactics of re-involving the RSS at every level of election management was disastrous in his native Uttar Pradesh, while strategies based around personality politics and economic reform led to victories in four other states that same year. Following this turn of events, the RSS publicly announced it would further limit its involvement in the BJP’s decision-making process. [11]

Organisation

The BJP is one of the few parties in India to have a popular-based governing structure, where workers and leaders at the local level have a great say in much of the decision-making. This has also been blamed for public spats between different factions of the party.

The topmost leader in the party is supposed to be the party President. Officially, the BJP constitution provides for a three-year term for the President. Recently, both Venkiah Naidu and LK Advani resigned ahead of schedule due to circumstances. Rajnath Singh has held this post since January 2006. Beyond this, there are several Vice-Presidents, General-Secretaries, Treasurers and Secretaries. The National Executive consists of an undetermined number of senior party leaders from across the nation who are the highest decision-making body in the party. At the state level, a similar structure is in place, with every state unit being led by the respective President, who also officially serves a three-year term.

The rank-and-file leadership of BJP largely derives from the cadre of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which has millions of affiliates. It also maintains close links to other Sangh Parivar organisations, such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Swadeshi Jagran Manch (an organisation promoting consumption of domestic goods over foreign imports).

Mass organisations associated with the BJP include:

  • Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (All-India Students’ Council)
  • Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (Indian People’s Youth Front)
  • Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (India Peasants’ Union)
  • Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (Indian Workers’ Union)
  • BJP Mahila Morcha (Indian Popular Women’s Front)
  • BJP Minority Morcha (Indian Popular Minority Front)

Outside of India, BJP followers have formed the ‘Overseas Friends of BJP’.

Objectives and policies

As per the party’s constitution the objectives of the party is explained as “the party is pledged to build up India as a strong and prosperous nation, which is modern, progressive and enlightened in outlook and which proudly draws inspiration from India’s ancient culture and values and thus is able to emerge as a great world power playing an effective role in the comity of Nations for the establishment of world peace and a just international order.

The Party aims at establishing a democratic state which guarantees to all citizens irrespective of caste, creed or sex, political, social and economic justice, equality of opportunity and liberty of faith and expression.

The Party shall bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established and to the principles of socialism, secularism and democracy and would uphold the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.”

The core agenda of BJP is inspired chiefly by Hindu nationalism. Though not in order of importance, the chief goals of BJP include:[citation needed]

(1)The Repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution, which prevents non-Kashmiris, including Hindus who have fled the area due to increasing terrorism, from owning property in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

(2)The Promulgation of a Uniform Common Civil Code, which create only one personal and civil law code for Hindus, Muslims and Christians, who enjoy the privilege of having law codes tailored to their religious culture over personal and family matters. In the minds of BJP supporters, this system creates a sense of division in the country between religious communities.

(3)A Ban on Cow Slaughter, to honor the Hindu tradition of deeming cows and most cattle as sacred, and prohibiting the consumption of beef and pork.

(4)The Ban on Forcible Religious Conversions

(5)The Construction of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya.

(6)To achieve the full territorial and political integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India. Presently over 40% of the territory is under the control of Pakistan and China.

The BJP stands for strong national defense, small government and free-market economic policies, but Hindutva and Integral Humanism have been its core philosophy and identity ever since its inception. The BJP stand on economic policies saw a sudden volte face in the mid nineties from a support of swadeshi products to the embracing of free market ideas.

Organisation Leadership

Organisation Leadership

President

  • Rajnath Singh – January 2006- till date

Former Presidents

  • Lal Krishna Advani – 2004-2005
  • Venkaiah Naidu – 2002-2004
  • Jana Krishnamurthi – 2001-2002
  • Bangaru Laxman – 2000-2001
  • Kushabhau Thakre – 1998-2000
  • Lal Krishna Advani – 1993-1998
  • Murli Manohar Joshi – 1991-1993
  • Lal Krishna Advani – 1986 – 1991
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee – 1980-1986

Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha

  • Jaswant Singh

Vice-Presidents (12)

  • Kalyan Singh
  • Balasaheb Apte
  • Shanta Kumar
  • Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
  • Karuna Shukla
  • Kailash Meghwal
  • Jual Oram
  • Yashwant Sinha
  • Vikram Verma
  • Bijoya Chakravarty
  • Jayawantiben Mehta
  • Anita Arya

General Secretaries (6)

  • Arun Jaitley
  • Ananth Kumar
  • Vijay Goel
  • Gopinath Munde Resigned April 20, 2008
  • Thawar Chand Gehlot
  • Vinay Katiyar

Treasurer

  • Ramdas Aggarwal

Secretaries (11)

  • Vijay Goel
  • Indrasena Reddy
  • Dharmendra Pradhan
  • Balbir Punj
  • Su. Thirunavukarsar
  • Kanji Bhai Patel
  • Prabhat Jha
  • Kiren Rijiju
  • Kiran Ghai
  • Smriti Irani
  • Saroj Pandey
  • Sudha Yadav

Chief Ministers and Deputy Chief Ministers

  • Narendra Modi, Gujarat
  • Prem Kumar Dhumal, Himachal Pradesh
  • Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan
  • Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Madhya Pradesh
  • Raman Singh, Chattisgarh
  • B. C. Khanduri, Uttarakhand
  • Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar
  • The BJP is participating in coalition governments in Punjab and Orissa but it does not hold the Deputy Chief Minister’s post. It’s legislative parties are led by Manoranjan Kalia and Vishwa Bhusan Harichandran, respectively.

Notable Public Figures In The Party

The BJP has a number of prominent public figures among its members, who have either campaigned for, contested elections for or held office for the party. The induction of celebrities into the party helped the party receive extra attention from the media and the public, but it has also received criticism from others, who have claimed that the celebrities knew little about politics or would create an image of elitism for the party.

  • Film and television stars: Juhi Chawla, Hema Malini, Vinod Khanna, Dharmendra, Shatrughan Sinha, Vijayashanti, Soundarya, Poonam Dhillon, Smriti Irani, Manoj Kumar, Apra Mehta, Jitendra, Raveena Tandon, Mukesh Khanna, Vani Tripathi, Dara Singh, Pankaj Dheer, Sudha Chandran, Aman Varma, Gajendra Chauhan and Suresh Oberoi
  • Sportspersons: Jaspal Rana, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Raj Singh Dungarpur, Pankaj Dheer, and Kris Srikkanth
  • Singers: Bhupendra Hazarika, Anup Jalota, and Kumar Sanu
  • Fashion Designer Shaina NC
  • Former Miss World Yukta Mookhey

Heirs to prominent political families:

  • Sumitra Kulkarni, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Sunil Shastri and Neera Shastri, son and daughter-in-law of Lal Bahadur Shastri
  • Ashok Ambedkar, grandson or B.R. Ambedkar
  • Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi, daughter-in-law and grandson of Indira Gandhi
  • Arun Nehru, nephew of Indira Gandhi
  • Najma Heptullah, grand-niece of Maulana Azad
  • Lalitha Kumaramangalam, granddaughter of Dr. Subbarayan
  • Vasundhara Raje and Yashodhara Raje, daughters of Vijayaraje Scindia
  • Bhanu Prakash Mirdha, grandson of Baldev Ram Mirdha

Current BJP Administrations in the States

BJP-ruled states

BJP-ruled states

BJP-Ruled States Without Outside Support

  • Himachal Pradesh Won 41 seats out of 68 seats
  • Chattisgarh won 51 seats out of 90 seats
  • Gujarat won 117 seats out of 182 seats
  • Madhya Pradesh won 173 seats out of 230 seats
  • Rajasthan won 120 seats out of 200 seats

Head of a Coalition Government

  • Uttarakhand won 36 seats out of 70 seats (Allied with the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal and three independents). The BJP won its 36th seat when bye elections were held on August 29. Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri won this seat. While the BJP now holds a majority in Uttarakhand, outside support for the government from the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal and three independents will continue.

Junior Partner in a Coalition With a National Democratic Alliance Partner (NDA)

  • Bihar (Allied with the Janata Dal (United))
  • Orissa won 32 seats out of 147 seats (Allied with the Biju Janata Dal)
  • Punjab won 19 seats out of 117 seats (Allied with the Shiromani Akali Dal)

Junior Partner in a Coalition With a Non National Democratic Alliance Partner (NDA)

  • Nagaland : part of Democratic Alliance of Nagaland
  • Meghalaya : part of Meghalaya Progressive Alliance

Historically, the BJP has either led or allied to form state governments in: Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It has also held power in the Union Territory of Delhi, one of two Union Territories to have a Legislature.

The BJP has never taken part in a state government in: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and West Bengal, although in a few of these states, it has extended outside support to a ruling government. In most of these states, it has at least won some local elections.

See also

  • List of BJP MPs in the 14th Lok Sabha
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