April 6: World’s largest political party, BJP was born

 

On this day of the year 1980 was when the current world’s largest party, Bharatiya Janata Party was born. The party boasts of a primary party membership of 12 million members. April 6, 1980 was when party was officially founded and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was anointed as the first president of the party. Ever since, the party went through a long journey of winning just 2 seats in 1984, to a record 282 seats in 2014 under the leadership of incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The journey hasn’t been smooth. The party made it through the most tumultous Ayodhya-Babri times of 1990s. In its journey, the party which its strong base in the cow belt, slowly made inroads into southern states through Karnataka and the north eastern states through Assam.

However, unlike Congress, BJP neither went through a formal split nor has it encouraged dynasty politics. There have been party presidents with pan Indian appeal from all states and all walks of life. Most notable administrations have been Vajpayee, Advani and Modi eras. From the historic Ayodhya era to the latest ‘Sabka Sath sabka vikas’ eras, the party has seen everything. BJP seems to be steaming ahead with intensified social and cultural diversity, new blood, new promises and new aspirations. It could be said that the party has been modified to a ‘modi’fied party. The party offered the first Indian to be born in Independent India, as a Prime Minister to the nation. Yet, with its 2014 electoral promises, the 37 year old party has a long road ahead. All said and done, with a spate of electoral victories, one thing can be said, that the party is no more a North Indian Party.

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