Bharatiya Janata Party
The Bharatiya Janata Party (abbreviated BJP) is largest political parties of India. (The second largest is the Indian National Congress). Since the Indian elections in 2014, the BJP has 271 of the 545 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India.
"Bharatiya" means "Indian" and "Janata" means "People". The BJP's political beliefs are similar to the beliefs of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The RSS is a controversial organization in India accused of being Hindu nationalist and hostile to minorities.
History[change | change source]
Bharatiya Jana Sangh[change | change source]
The history of the Bharatiya Janata Party starts with the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (abbreviated BJS). The BJS was a political party created by Syama Prasad Mookerjee in 1951. At that time, the Indian National Congress was the political party that ruled India. The BJS's goal was to stop the Indian National Congress's policies.
Many people thought the BJS was a part of the RSS because they had the same ideas on leading the Government of India.
Campaign for Kashmir[change | change source]
The party's first election campaign was about Kashmir. Kashmir was an area divided between India and Pakistan. The BJS wanted to make Kashmir a part of India. The party's founder, Mookerjee, was arrested for protesting in Kashmir, when he was ordered not to do so. He died in prison, so Deendayal Upadhyay became the party's leader.
Even though there was slight public support for the party because of the campaign about Kashmir, the BJS only managed to win three seats in the Lok Sabha in the 1952 elections.
Later elections[change | change source]
In the 1967 Indian elections, many political parties, including the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, joined up together to win a majority of the seats of many Indian states, including Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. This was the first time the BJS had held any political office. In 1977, after the end of a State of Emergency declared by the Congress Government, BJS joined with several other parties to form BJP.
In 1996 BJP became the largest party in Parliament. It did poorly in the 2004 elections and became the major opposition party. The 2014 elections gave BJP enough seats to form a government.