• Kavyaa Kannan

BJP's rise: From humble beginnings to utter Political dominance

In the 2014 General Elections, a single party achieved a feat none had seen since 1984, sweeping away majority of the seats in the Indian Parliament. The Bharatiya Janata Party single-handedly received 31% of the votes in a massive victory and formed their coalition government as part of the NDA.

Establishment of the Jana Sangh: 1951-1967

1951- The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was found by Syama Prasad Mukherjee, with the objective of “protecting India’s Hindu cultural identity”.

1953- The Jana Sangh began their first campaign, to completely integrate Jammu & Kashmir into India.

1967- They had governments in several states, and their main agenda was implementation of social causes such as banning cow slaughter.

The Emergency and Formation of the Janata Party: 1975-1980

1975- PM Indira Gandhi imposed a state of Emergency. The Jana Sangh widely participated in protests, and thousands of their members were imprisoned.

1977- General elections were held where the Janata Party (coalition of the Jana Sangh and other parties) went on to win, defeating India Gandhi in the process.

1980- Violence between Hindus and Muslims grew fiercely. The Jana Sangh members were forced to cut off ties with the RSS and left to form the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Rise of BJP: 1984-1996

1984- Losing the first general election prompted BJP to shift back towards radical policies of Hindu nationalism. This was reflected by their clear support for the campaign for the construction of a temple to Lord Ram in place of the Babri Mosque. 1992- A rally organized by RSS ended up in a frenzied riot, leading to demolition of the Mosque. BJP leaders, including Advani, were arrested.

1996- BJP rose to being the biggest party in Parliament, winning 161 Lok Sabha seats. However, unable to attain a majority in the hung Lok Sabha, they were forced to step down.

The formation of NDA in 1998

1998- BJP contested in polls as part of an alliance called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The NDA had a majority and formed the government.

2004- Manmohan Singh succeeded Vajpayee as Prime Minister as the NDA lost in the 2004 Elections.

A similar result emerged the 2009 Elections.

However, the Congress and its allies were embroiled in a series of scandals and several instances of corruption during this term.

2014- The NDA won the general elections by a landslide of votes, and Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. The popularity of Modi and the loss of support for the Congress were the driving forces behind this victory.

2014-2020- BJP went on to make major policy changes, including

  • demonetization,

  • implementation of GST,

  • revoking of Article 370, which granted Jammu and Kashmir’s special status,

  • implementation of the CAA and NRC.

Apart from another landslide victory in the 2019 general elections, BJP has established a stronghold over several state governments, such as Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

2021- Prime Minister Modi’s disapproval ratings shot up to 32%, the highest they have ever been, as the BJP Government was criticised for a disastrous pandemic response.

The BJP government has established a vast political stronghold in India, but this domination has come with its own slew of controversies.


Sources: Britannica Encyclopedia, https://bjpgujarat.org/history/

Written by - Kavyaa Kannan

Edited by - Akshadha