Bharatiya Janata Party

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) (Hindi: भारतीय जनता पार्टी; translation: Indian People's Party) is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Indian National Congress. Established in 1980, it is India's second largest political party. The Bharatiya Janata Party traditionally has supported Indian Nationalism and strongly advocates conservative social policies, self-reliance, free market capitalistic policy, foreign policy driven by a nationalist agenda, and strong national defence.[2] The party's platform is generally considered right of center in the Indian political spectrum.[1]

The BJP, in alliance with several other parties, was in power from 1998 to 2004, with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the Prime Minister and Lal Krishna Advani as his deputy. It is the biggest constituent of the National Democratic Alliance which is currently in the opposition.

Contents

History

The BJP is the current form of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS, Indian People's Union), which was founded in 1980 by Syama Prasad Mookerjee as the political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The fortunes of the young party took a dip in 1953, when Mookherjee was jailed in Kashmir by then Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru[citation needed]. After Mookerjee's death in prison, the entire burden of nurturing the orphaned organisation and building it up as a nation-wide movement fell on the young shoulders of Deendayal Upadhyaya. For 15 years, he remained the outfit's general secretary and built it up, brick by brick. He raised a band of dedicated workers imbued with idealism and provided the entire ideological framework of the outfit, but never seriously challenged the power of Indian National Congress[citation needed]. It did however groom future political leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, who were in the party when it was a constituent of the Janata Party government in 1977.[3]

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