Bharatiya Jan Sangh to Bharatiya Janata Party; 10 facts you didn’t know

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As the BJP celebrates its Foundation Day on April 6, 2020, the party that started as Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) has indeed come a long way. Today the party claims to have the world’s largest party by membership size, with more than 18 crore members. The two last governments under PM Narendra Modi have seen it return to power with an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha.

Here are 10 lesser known facts about the party –

Though the BJP was formally founded in 1980, its political evolution started with the formation of the BJS in 1951. In turn, the BJS had its association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Also Read: MP floor test: BJP wins amidst Congress boycott

BJP was formed on April 6, 1980, after it broke away from the Janata Party. Its earlier avatar was the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, founded by Shayama Prasad Mukherjee. Lal Krishna Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee who played a critical role in Indian politics, were part of this Jan Sangh Movement too. Former PM of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was its founding president.

The political symbol of the party, visibly symbolizes a nationalist character of the party. It also signifies the values of learning. The Lotus is a symbol often associated with Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of learning.

It is a party that is associated with a framework. It is known to have close ties with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and imbibes most of its ideology from it.

In 1999, the BJP formed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), a coalition of over 20 parties, which went on to win the elections. Vajpayee came to power for the third time as part of the NDA coalition.

In its present avatar, the party has promised to develop India in an inclusive manner with the slogan given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas’.

The party has never been in power either directly or indirectly in Kerala, Telengana and West Bengal.

For a brief period, they were coalition partners in the state of Tamil Nadu.

In 2008, Karnataka became the first Southern state where the party rode to power. Before this happened, it was largely called a ‘North Indian party’ by its critics.

The party before 2014, was largely considered to be an urban party with support from only the urban masses. Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have changed that perception and taken the party to the masses. His two-term majority return proves this point.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP secured 31% of the total number of valid votes. This number increased to about 37% in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, indicating an increasing trend.

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