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History of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

The Bharatiya Janata Party is one of the major parties in the Indian Political System.  It is commonly referred as “BJP”. BJP was established in year 1980.

The Official Ideology and Central Philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party is "Integral Humanism", which is based on the ideology put forward by Deendayal Upadhyaya. The ideology was put forward by Upadhyay in four lectures in Bombay in 1965. BJP also cites "Hindutva" as its core ideology. It defined Hindutvas as "Cultural Nationalism".

History of BJP

Bharatiya Jana Sangh (1951-1980)

  • The Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) was founded in year 1951.
  • Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee was the founder of the BJP.
  • BJP opposed the appeasement policy of the Indian National Congress.
  • Dr. Mookerjee’s died while in prison in the year 1953. Deendayal Upadhyaya  took responsibility of the party as the leader.
  • Deendayal Upadhyaya remained BJP's general secretary for 15 years. He is credited with grooming of future political leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani.
  • BJP is a part of the Sangh Parivar with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a primary body. 
  • The Jana Sangh, in 1952, won just three Lok Sabha seats in the first general elections. Its strength increased in 1962.
  •  After 1967, the party entered into coalition with other parties to form several state governments.
  • BJP participated in the political agitation against the emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in the 70's. 

The Jana Sangh along with many other political parties merged with the Janata Party in 1977 to present a united opposition to the Congress.

  • In 1977, the Janata Party won with a huge majority and formed the government with Morarji Desai as Prime Minister.
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the leader of the Jana Sangh after Upadhyaya's death in 1967. He was appointed as the external affairs minister in the new government. 
  • After the resignation of Morarji Desai as the prime minister, the Janata government did not last long and was consequently dissolved. 

Bharatiya Janata Party (1980)

  • 1980 - Bharatiya Janata Party founded by members of former Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee was BJP's first president.
  • BJP won assembly elections of Delhi in 1993
  • BJP won Gujarat and Maharashtra state elections in March 1995
  • BJP president L.K. Advani declared A.B. Vajpayee as the candidate for Prime Minister position if the BJP won the next parliamentary elections in 1996.
  • BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha and Vajpayee became the Prime minister. The government lasted only 13 days.
  • 1998 Lok Sabha elections BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) obtained a simple majority. BJP had allied with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Biju Janata Dal, Samata Party, Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiv Sena. Outside support was provided by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister for the second time.
  • The coalition ended in May 1999 when the leader of AIADMK, Jayalalitha, withdrew her support, and fresh elections were held.
  • On 13 October 1999, the BJP-led NDA won 303 seats. The BJP had its highest ever tally of 183 seats in Lok Sabha.
  • A.B. Vajpayee became prime minister for the third time and L.K. Advani became the deputy prime minister and Home Minister. The NDA government lasted its full term of five years.
  • Vajpayee government continued the liberal economic policies initiated by the previous Congress government under P. V. Narasimha Rao.
  • The NDA government facilitated the privatization drive. It implemented the World Trade Organisation (WTO) guidelines.
  • The BJP and the NDA was defeated in the 2004 general elections.
  • 2008, the BJP won the state elections in Karnataka.
  • BJP was defeated in 2009 general elections and its strength in Lok Sabha was 116 seats. 

 History of Bharatiya Janata Party in General Elections: 

General Election

Seats Won

% of votes

1980, 7th Lok Sabha



1984, 8th Lok Sabha



1989, 9th Lok Sabha



1991, 10th Lok Sabha



1996, 11th Lok Sabha



1998, 12th Lok Sabha



1999, 13th Lok Sabha



2004, 14th Lok Sabha



2009, 15th Lok Sabha



2014, 16th Lok Sabha



Party structure

The highest authority in the party is the president and the BJP constitution provides for a three-year term for that office.

Rajnath Singh held this post from 2006 to 2009; he was succeeded by Nitin Gadkari. 
Other important positions in BJP include Vice-Presidents, General-Secretaries, Treasurers and Secretaries.

Presidents of The BJP




Atal Bihari Vajpayee


Lal Krishna Advani


Murli Manohar Joshi


Lal Krishna Advani


Kushabhau Thakre


Bangaru Laxman


Jana Krishnamurthi


Venkaiah Naidu


Lal Krishna Advani


Rajnath Singh


Nitin Gadkari

2013 – present

Rajnath Singh