BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY, INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS, GIRISH BAPAT
- The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), translated into English as the “Indian People's Party”, is one of the prominent parties in India today. It is a major political party with a right-wing political position. It strongly adheres to cultural nationalism through social conservatism and integral humanism. It is the most significant member of the family of active organisations known as the 'Sangh Parivar'. The BJP was officially formed in 1980, under the political guidance and leadership of two of its most significant leaders, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani.
- Both of them were members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), the political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), nationalist cultural organisation of independent India. The BJS was founded by Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookherjee in 1951, to combat the increasing political power of the Indian National Congress (INC), which was said to have initiated a number of compromises in the questions of political and cultural integrity and unity of India, such as appeasement policy for Muslims. The BJS, under the umbrella of RSS, began to grow in strength. But soon after, with Mookherjee's death, the organisation started to decline in political importance.
- It was in this period that leaders like Vajpayee and Advani were groomed, who were able to take charge of the future political affairs of India. In the 1977 elections, after the Emergency was called off, the BJS merged with three other active political organisations with a socialist and regionalist approach. This coalition came to be called the Janata Party. It registered a landslide victory in the 1977 elections, and formed the government under Morarji Desai's leadership. However, with increasing internal factionalism and political chaos, the Janata Party collapsed in 1979. The Bharatiya Janata Party was formally announced in 1980, comprising members of the nucleus of Janata Party. Vajpayee was the first President of the BJP.
- The BJP came to power at the Centre, by forming a coalition of parties called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) from 1998 to 2004. The present President of the BJP is Amit Shah. The BJP is the largest political party in the Parliament. The party won 282 seats in the 2014 General Elections and the NDA got a total of 336 seats. Since 1984, it was for the first time that any party got a clear majority in the Parliament. On 26 May 2014, Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India. Modi is the leader of the BJP in the Lok Sabha, whereas Arun Jaitley is the leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha.
- Election Symbol and its Significance
The Election Symbol of the BJP from its inception, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is the “Lotus”. The Lotus is the national flower of India. The BJP election symbol therefore has many prominent representations. Firstly, the symbol is used to indicate a national identity that the BJP strongly upholds. The BJP's political ideology is described as cultural nationalism. In other words, the BJP is adherent to cultural values of India. For example, the BJP promotes the ban on cow-slaughter as it is considered a holy animal. Again, the party seeks to uphold the cultural unity of India, by strongly criticising the European notion of ‘secularism'.
- The BJP claims that the INC is a political party with a pseudo-secular ideology. It also believes that by strongly propagating a cultural nationalist approach, it is not in anyway, propagating Hindu nationalism. On the contrary, the BJP asserts that it is dedicated to the building up of a harmonious, united and integrated India, which will uphold its traditions and heritage. The objectives of the Party are outlined thus: "The party is pledged to build up India as a strong and prosperous nation, which is modern, progressive and enlightened in outlook and which proudly draws inspiration from India's ancient culture and values and thus is able to emerge as a great world power, playing an effective role in the community of nations for the establishment of world peace and a just international order.
- The party aims at establishing a democratic state which guarantees to all citizens “irrespective of caste, creed or sex, political, social and economic justice, equality of opportunity and liberty of faith and expression.” In other words, the election symbol of the BJP symbolises a pan-Indian outlook, representing and respecting all sections of a united “Bharat” or India. Secondly, the lotus is a symbol of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of learning and education. The BJP promotes cultural education. For example, it recommends the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita in educational institutions.
- Indian People's Party, created in 1980, is one of the two major national political parties in India. It projects itself as a champion of the socio-religious cultural values of the country's Hindu majority, conservative social policies, and strong national defense. Its constituency is strengthened by the broad umbrella of Hindu nationalist organizations, informally known as the Sangh Parivar (League of Indian nationalist organizations), in which the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh plays a leading role.
- Since its inception, the BJP has been a prime opponent of the Indian National Congress. It has allied with regional parties to roll back the left-of-centre tendencies formerly endorsed by the Congress Party, which dominated Indian politics for four decades. The ideological rallying cry of the BJP is Hindutva, literally "Hinduness," or cultural Hindu nationalism.
The BJP, in alliance with several other parties, led the Government of India between 1998 and 2004, under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, its most senior leaders. It is the leading party within the National Democratic Alliance and leads the opposition.
- The Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS, Indian People's Union) was founded in 1952 by Syama Prasad Mookerjee, a Bengali nationalist leader, former Union Minister and freedom-fighter. It was considered the political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. But the fortunes of the young party floundered in 1953, when Mookherjee died in Kashmir in jail during a protest. The BJS lasted for 24 more years, but never succeeded in winning control of any state or more than a small share of the seats of the Union Parliament. It was unable to challenge the Indian National Congress, the leading organization in the nation's freedom movement, for a political majority, and always had to contend with lesser socialist parties for second and third places. However, the party nourished future leaders who were seasoned with tough political experiences, like the future Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- When Indira Gandhi imposed a state of emergency in 1975, postponing elections and misusing major central powers granted to her by the Constitution, the BJS joined a coalition of parties in active protest. Several of its leaders were arrested, including Vajpayee. But when Gandhi called elections in 1977, the BJS invested all its political and organizational capital in merging into the new Janata Party, a unified opposition party. A mixture of socialists, regionalists, and former Congressmen, the party was united in opposition to the Emergency and Indira Gandhi. The Janata Party defeated Indira Gandhi's Congress Party in a landslide victory and formed a government under Morarji Desai's leadership. Vajpayee, the most senior BJS leader, became Minister for External Affairs. His close friend and political comrade Lal Krishna Advani became the Minister for Information and Broadcasting.
- The Janata Party government lasted for barely two years, and following its collapse, Indira Gandhi's Congress returned in a thunderous landslide victory. When the Janata Party imploded, the nucleus of the BJS reorganised themselves.
The BJP was founded in December 1980, under the direct leadership of the duovirate of Vajpayee and Advani. In the 1984 Lok Sabha elections, in which the Congress Party won a massive landslide victory following Indira Gandhi's assassination, the BJP obtained only 2 seats out of 543. But in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 88 seats.
- It supported the Janata Dal-led coalition of V.P. Singh. On October 23, 1990, BJP leader L.K. Advani was arrested by the Chief Minister of Bihar, Laloo Prasad Yadav, due to his agitation for the construction of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya. The BJP withdrew its support of this government, and it collapsed the next month.
In the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP became the premier opposition party, and the Congress government functioned as a minority. During this time, the Janata Dal, the other major offshoot of the Janata Party, saw itself crumble into regional factions, and many leaders opted for the BJP.
- The First BJP Government (May 16 - 31st, 1996)
In 1996, the BJP became the single-largest political party in the parliament, with the Congress at its lowest tally ever. The President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, appointed Vajpayee as Prime Minister and the BJP worked to foster a coalition that could command a majority in the Lok Sabha.  However the opponents of BJP were able to rally a majority and Vajpayee had to resign after only 13 days in power, allowing a broad centre-left coalition government to be formed instead, known as the United Front.
- The Second BJP Government (March 19, 1998 - October 13, 1999)
Lok Sabha elections were again held in 1998, and the BJP again won the largest number of seats. This time, the BJP formed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with allied political parties. Besides its old allies, the Samata Party, the Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiv Sena, the BJP made friends in the Telugu Desam Party, the AIADMK, and the Biju Janata Dal. The NDA had a slim majority, and Vajpayee returned as Prime Minister.  But the coalition ruptured in May 1999 when the leader of AIADMK, Jayalalitha, withdrew her support, and fresh elections were again called. The BJP-led government lost its majority by only one vote when it was taken.
- The government provided significant support to the Prasar Bharati Act which gave government owned media channels more autonomy. The Act had been passed by the National Front government with BJP support, but had been languishing relatively unimplemented ever since.
The new Government carried out an electoral promise with the 5 nuclear tests at Pokhran, in Rajasthan in 1998, making India an unofficial nuclear power.
- The Vajpayee administration also oversaw the country's defenses during the Kargil War, where the Indian military performed assaults and operations to recover strategic mountain posts from Pakistani soldiers who had occupied ground on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
The Third BJP Government (October 13, 1999 - May 13, 2004)
On October 13, 1999, the BJP-drove NDA won upwards of 303 seats. The BJP won an unsurpassed high of 183. Vajpayee won his third term as Leader, and Advani turned into the Appointee PM and Home Clergyman. This NDA Government went on for its full five years.
- The BJP-drove National Fair Union passed the Anticipation of Terrorist Exercises Act in 2002, a law expanding the forces of police powers and knowledge offices with an end goal to control subversive political exercises and terrorism. The POTA was declared mainly in light of the December 13 2001 terrorist assaults on the Union Parliament. 
Vajpayee and his financial group, drove by Money Pastor Yashwant Sinha, pushed through significant privatizations of huge government companies, the liberalization of exchange under World Exchange Association standards, opening the skies to business carriers, remote venture and proprietorship and created "Extraordinary Monetary Zones" where commercial enterprises could appreciate uncommon foundation.
- The administration particularly obliged the rising data innovation industry, and brought down duties for white collar class Indians and organizations. Record increments in farming and modern creation were coordinated by hungry white collar class shoppers, and expanding remote exchange and speculation. In 2004, the Administration marked the South Asia Organized commerce Concurrence with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, a choice planned to immeasurably advantage more than 1.6 billion individuals.
- Vajpayee took an individual enthusiasm for the Brilliant Quadrilateral venture, a street framework which went for connecting the four corners of the country with overwhelming, modern streets. His training projects helped the enlistment of youngsters into elementary schools, extended guide for schools and pushed new-age advances to enhance schooling.
Vajpayee was without any help in charge of three momentous endeavors to construct tranquil relations with Pakistan. In 1999, he rode on the inaugural Delhi-Lahore transport, and marked the Lahore Assertion with the Pakistani Executive, conferring India to peace. Regardless of the double-crossing to come three months after the fact in Kargil, Vajpayee in 2001 welcomed Pakistan's military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, to Delhi, however the summit fizzled with no outcome. What's more, regardless of the terrorist assaults that solidified relations for more than two years, Vajpayee, in a staggering and emotive discourse to Parliament in August 2004.