BJP is now 42 years old. The BJP celebrated its 42nd Foundation Day on April 6, 2022. In the meantime, the party has risen in stature to become the BJP of former Prime Minister, Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s dreams.
If someone asks about the biggest development that has taken place in Indian electoral politics since independence, it has to be the rise of the BJP.
The party rose to prominence in the 1980s, when a number of regional satraps, vote bank-based parties, and family-based parties had also come into existence. BJP represented hope when it came to nationalist and development-oriented politics. And today, the BJP is the largest party in the world. It is fuelling India’s rise on the global stage in line with former Prime Minister, Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vision.
Prime Minister Modi sets development-oriented agenda on BJP Foundation Day
Addressing party workers on the BJP Foundation Day, PM Modi said, “Today, India stands firm before the world with its interests without any fear or pressure. When the entire world is divided into two rival factions, India is being viewed as a nation that can firmly speak about humanity.”
Lauding the BJP, The Prime Minister also said, “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Kutch to Kohima, BJP is continuously strengthening the resolve of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.”
BJP’s humble start
The successor of erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the BJP, was formally founded in 1980. In 1984, most political analysts had however written it off. The party won only two seats in the Parliamentary polls- one from Andhra Pradesh and one from Gujarat. The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had mocked the BJP, by saying, “Hum Do, Humare Do (the family planning slogan used at the time).”
However, only five years later, the BJP showed that it meant business. The party won 85 seats in the Lok Sabha polls. And seemed all set to make bigger gains. Yet, the left-dominated intelligentsia kept ridiculing it as a fringe party with no significant presence outside the Hindi belt.
BJP kept rising despite criticism
BJP kept facing the tag of being an ‘urban’ party or being a party that was restricted to North and North-western India. Anyhow, the BJP kept expanding its presence and in 1991, it won 120 seats.
Later, the BJP even led a rainbow coalition under the leadership of former Prime Minister, Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The party was however ridiculed for a bit being able to form the government on its own.
And it was during a Parliamentary debate in 1997 that Vajpayee announced a glorious goal for the BJP to achieve.
During one of the debates in 1997, then PM Vajpayee said, “Mark my words, today you people (Congress) are laughing at us for having less MP/MLA but the day will come we will have our Government all over India with the highest number of MP/MLA, that day people of this country will laugh at you and make fun of you.”
Along with his agenda for the party, Vajpayee had also made it clear that India’s stature had to be strengthened at the global level. This is why the Pokhran test was conducted in the first place.
The BJP kept working in line with Vajpayee’s development-oriented agenda. The core ideals of the party like abrogation of Article 370, implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), and construction of Ram Mandir were never given up.
Read more: As the abrogation of Article 370 marks a new dawn for the valley, it brings the end of the Congress party
The BJP has been achieving its core ideals one by one and this is what has made it an unrivaled party in India’s politics. BJP today is exactly what Atal Ji had dreamt of.