The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is leading the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre besides a number of governments in various states, turned 36 on Wednesday (April 6).
BJS preceded BJP
The party was formed on April 6, 1980, with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as its founding president. The BJP was the successor to the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) which was formed in 1951. The BJS had 14 MPs in the third Lok Sabha which was elected in 1962 and 35 MPs in the fourth Lok Sabha that was elected in 1967. It also came to power in the Botad Municipal Corporation in Gujarat in 1970.
The BJP had won just two seats in the 1984 Lok Sabha election, the first time it contested but its tally shot up to 120 in the 1991 general election. The BJP made inroads in Indian electoral politics by mobilising the Hindutva sentiments in the late 1980s and early 1990s as its majority movement culminated in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
BJP came to power in UP in 1991 but could not last more
than a year
In states, the BJP's first major success came in UP when Kalyan Singh became the chief minister in 1991. But he could rule just over a year as the state went under the President's Rule following the Babri demolition incident.
BJP's first major success at state level came in 1995 when it came to power in Gujarat
In 1995, the BJP came to power in Gujarat and unlike what happened in UP, it has continued to rule the western state since then. The rise of Narendra Modi in 2001 when he became the chief minister of Gujarat succeeding Keshubhai Patel and his going on to become the prime minister in 2014 is one of the big success stories in the history of the BJP.
It tasted equal success in states like MP, Chhattisgarh and Goa later where they are still in power. The saffron party won its first state in the South in 2007 when it came to power in Karnataka. It also ruled Bihar jointly with the JD(U) between 2010 and 2015 and Delhi between 1993 and 1998.
BJP came to power at Centre for first time in 1996 but for just 13 days
The BJP tasted power at the Centre in 1996 for the first time but the NDA could not survive more than 13 days in power. Its second stint in power at the Centre came in 1998 but it was also short-lived and was limited to 13 months. The BJP's first-ever full-fledged rule at the Centre happened only between 1999 and 2004. Vajpayee served as the prime minister on all these three occasions.
Under Modi, BJP formed its first majority govt at the Centre in 2014
Under Modi, the BJP came to power with a single majority for the first time in 2014. Today, the BJP is in power in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Goa. It is also in power jointly in the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.