From just two seats to second term: A look at BJP's journey since 1984 Lok Sabha polls
New Delhi, May 23: From just two seats in Lok Sabha in 1984 to winning two back-to-back majority in general elections, the BJP has displaced Congress under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the early 90s, BJP's influence was restricted to the Hindi heartland. By 1996, BJP was elected as the single largest party, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee took oath as PM. However, the UPA-I and UPA-II were formed in 2004 and 2009. In the following Lok Sabha polls in 2014, Modi merged on the national scene and the party won a clear majority on its own, extending its footprint to the North-East.
Few had imagined the BJP would be able to travel this far when it was founded on 6 April, 1980. The party originated from Jan Sangh, which had merged with the Janata Party in 1977 but three years later splintered. When the saffron party contested its first election in 1984, it won only two Lok Sabha seats. Following which, then party president LK Advani made Hindutva as the core ideology of the party.
The hardline Hindutva politics paid rich electoral dividends in the next general elections in 1989 when the BJP won 85 Lok Sabha seats. Following Advani's 'Ram Rath Yatra' in 1990, the party grew in strength and in the 1991 general elections, it increased its strength to 120. The party's vote share went up to 20.1 per cent in 1991 from 7.4 per cent in 1984.
In the 1996 general elections, the BJP for the first time became the single largest party in Lok Sabha by winning 161 seats and staked claim to form the government. The first ever BJP-led government, formed under the leadership of Vajpayee, lasted for only 13 days as it failed to attract allies to muster a majority.
In the 1998 general polls, the BJP's tally increased and it got 182 seats in the Lok Sabha and formed a coalition government called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which lasted 13 months, losing a no-confidence motion by a single vote.
Following the BJP's massive victory and splendid performance in Uttar Pradesh, Amit Shah, who was in charge of the state, was rewarded with party's top post. With this change of ranks in the party's leadership, a new era of Modi-Shah duo started which led to the party's victory in various state assembly elections and the BJP was ruling the 18 states at one time.