BJP celebrates 40th Foundation Day; pledges to overcome COVID-19 crisis

Panchanan Mishra
PM Modi addresses BJP workers via Video Conference (Twitter Photo)

PM Modi addresses BJP workers via Video Conference (Twitter Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi video-conferenced with BJP workers on Monday on the occasion of the party’s 40th Foundation Day.

Prime Minister Modi said, “This foundation day of BJP has come at a time when not only the country but also the world is going through a difficult time. Humanity is facing a crisis, our devotion to the service of the country shows us our path during this challenging time.”

Admitting that the current fight against the Coronavirus was a long one, the Prime Minister urged his party workers not to tire or take rest. He said, “We have to emerge victorious. Today, the country has only one goal and one resolve – to win this war.”

BJP president JP Nadda asked workers to adopt five mantras in the face of the crisis.

He told them to show solidarity with the underprivileged by skipping a meal. This was what Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had called appealed for during the 1965 war against Pakistan.

Established on April 6, 1980, the Bharatiya Janata Party follows the ideology of ‘Antyoday’ professed by Deen Dayal Upadhyay. Since coming to power in May 2014, Narendra Modi has implemented this in many of the government schemes like the Jan Dhan Yojana, the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Ayushman Bharat, and the Ujjwala Yojana.

Just like its parent party, the Jan Sangh, the BJP has enshrined the belief of fulfilling the promises made in its manifestos.

The party realised Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s aspiration by doing away with Section 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The Ram Mandir was also another pivotal promise that the party delivered on.

‘Party with a difference’ and ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai’ are now the party’s central slogans and the reason why the public vested its confidence in the party and its leadership once again in 2019.

As BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sudhanshu Trivedi put in a conversation with Rajya Sabha TV: “The BJP’s 4-decade development journey has been organic and gradual, based on the strength of Antyodaya, Nationalism and Good Governance (Sushasan).“

Trivedi underscored that nation-building has always been the hallmark of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He added that in India people showed confidence in only two Prime Ministers – Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi – even before electing them to power.

In Monday’s conversation with party workers, the Prime Minister said, “From the Jan Sangh to the establishment of the BJP, from being a two-member party in Parliament to having more than 300 MPs, revered men like Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sundar Singh Bhandari, and Kushabhau Thackeray have given us the ideal of Nation first. And it is time now to take this ideal to its peak.”

Formation of Bharatiya Janata Party

The BJP was formed in 1980. But much before that, in 1951, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee broke away from the Congress to form the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the first President of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980.

The Lok Sabha elections of 1984 were the BJP’s first electoral test, when the party won two seats. This result forced the BJP to change the way it functioned.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee stayed President of the party till 1986, after which the party was led by firebrand leader, L K Advani. Advani led the party on the path of Hindutva, making the Ayodhya issue the party’s agenda in 1988 at its national convention in Palampur. In the 1989 Lok Sabha elections, BJP increased its tally from 2 to 85, becoming the second-largest party in the Lok Sabha.

In 1991, the party’s main poll plank was the Ram Mandir issue, which gave it 120 seats. Under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the BJP formed a government that lasted 13 months in 1998. By the next election, it further improved its organization skills, and crossed all hurdles to form a government for five years.

2014 saw the BJP and Narendra Modi entering the national scene once again, and the party winning an absolute majority, demonstrating how a strong organisation can lead to big changes.