As a result of this successful resistance Mrs Gandhi's Congress Party was trounced in the 1977 elections and a Janata party government consisting of BJS, BLD, Cong(O), Socialists and CFD took office. Here Shri Vajpayee as External Affairs Minister and Shri. L.K Advani as information and broadcasting minister made memorable name. But within thirty months this government went into pieces, thanks to the vaulting ambition of individual leaders. The Janata experiment miserably failed.
In the elections that followed the fall of Charan Singh government, countless crores of foreign money came into play. The Stateman pointed out on Feb.11, 1980 that the Rupee, which normally sold at a discount in the world's black markets, now began to sell at a premium. As against this official rate of Rs 7.91 to a dollar on January 4 the unofficial rate of Rs 7.20. "Those who keep tabs on money markets attributed this sudden rise in the black market value of the Indian currency to big orders from unknown buyers, believed to include some foreign governments keen to funnel funds into the election coffer of the ideological allies and friends in India". After the elections, in the very first week of February, 1980, the Indian currency fell even lower than before, to Rs 8 a dolalr to be precise.
While the splintered Janata Party was routed in January 1980, their suicidal "dual memebership" campaign continued. The BJS component found this situation impossible, went out and reorganised itself.
A bright new day had dawned in the chequered history of India. The very first session of BJP in December 1980 in Bombay, presided over by Shri Vajpayee, was a glorious success. Addressing this session the Grand Old Man of India, Shri M.C. Chagla, said: "I am not a member of the party and I am not addressing you as a delegate. Still I assure you that when I am talking to you I do not feel like an outsider. I honestly and sincerely feel that I am one of you. The BJP is a national party. I admire your discipline, your honesty, and your dedication. This huge gathering is Bombay's answer to Indira. This is the only party that can replace Indira."
It was during the Indira Gandhi's second coming that the country experienced the trauma of Meenakshipuram and the massacre of Nellie.
However, her worst disservice to the country was the propping up of Bhindranwale - till then an obscure granthi - to harass and divide the Akali Dal. To this day the country has not recovered from that play with fire, the latest victim of the same being Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.
No less dangerous was her aiding, abeting, arming, and financing of LTTE which was out to partition a friendly neighbouring state like Sri Lanka.
And when her political son died in an unfortunate and mysterious air accident she promptly put up even her airline pilot son to succeed her and try to pilot the ship of State.
The BJP, while exposing all these sins of ommission and commission, continued to consolidate its organisation and fine-tune its policies. It won election after after corporation election in major cities. The general feeling was that Mrs. Gandhi would not be able to win the next election due early in 1985. And President Zail Singh was heard saying that in that case he would not call her to form the Government. It was at this stage that she was shot dead by enraged Sikhs for having violated the sanctity of the Golden Temple in Amritsar
. What followed was a titanic tragedy, costing the lives of thousands of Sikhs and their property worth some Rs 10,000 crores. The whole carnage was okayed by the state apparatus, with President Zail Singh himself ringing up the Delhi BJP leaders to please save the lives of their Sikh brethern. The whole gory drama was staged under Mr. Rajiv as PM and Mr. Rao as Home Minister. No wonder nobody was punished for this genocide of innocent Sikhs.
In the elections that followed the sympathy wave got Mr. Rajiv Gandhi more votes and more seats than even Pandit Nehru in all his three general elections. For a while he appeared as Prince Charming on a White Charger, the 'Mr. Clean', out to purge "power brokers". However, it soon became clear that it is much easier to run an election than to run a country.
He signed an agreement with Shri Longowal of the Akali Dal, but never implemented it. He signed an Assam agreement that left millions of Bangla infiltrators this side of the border. he first welcomed the Supreme Court judgement in the Shah Bano Case and then proceeded to negate it. Having done this "favor" to Muslims he proceeded to organise the unlocking of the Ayodhya structure in a bid to please the Hindus.
He despatched the army to Sri Lanka only to get a bloody nose there.
However, the BJP lost no time in preparing for the next round. It appointed a high power Working Group to study the results of the 1984 elections and recommend remedial action. The Party streamlined its organisation. It re-pledged itself to "Integral Humanism". It urged early and comprehensive electoral reform. And it highlighted the problem of massive infiltration from Bangladesh. Within two years of Rajiv Gandhi's coming to office the BJP had slapped on him a 50-count chargesheet. And then came the Bofors scandal.
That a ruling party should make money on Government contracts was bad enough. But that it should make money on Defence deals, compromising national defence was wholly unacceptable to the country. The fat was in the fire.
From day one Shri VP Singh did not play ball. The BJP had pledged him unconditional support, which was probably a mistake; there is no charity in politics; no free lunch. BJP should have probably made it clear that it should be consulted on all major issues. But Mr VP Singh on his part only added insult to injury. The BJP had made no demand on him whatsoever. But whenever any of his colleagues suggested some gesture to be made to BJP he was heard saying: "I do not have to give them anything; they have no choice." Evidently the Raja Saheb thought that BJP was his "bonded labour."
As BJP president Advani was heard remarking at the time: "Mr VP Singh is like an old-style princeling. He is all courtesy and all conspiracy". He would tell Advani that he himself would join him in Kar-Seva and then issued a temple ordinance only to withdraw it within hours and have Shri Advani arrested.
Shri VP Singh suddenly came up with the Mandal report, not because his heart was bleeding for the poor but because he thought that, on this issue, he could dissolve the House to go to the polls, collect some 350 seats and rule the country on his own without the bother of consulting anybody on anything. But it was a gamble that failed, because the BJP had already raised the Ayodhya issue. And it had done so early in 1989, not on the basis of any electoral calculation, but on ideological conviction. Historic wrongs had to be righted, however, symbolically, for a lasting solution of the Hindu-Muslim problem.
Shri Advani's Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya effected a sea change in the political scene. While Mandal had divided the people, Ayodhya united the people. What violence there was in 1990 came only because the government arrested Shri Advani and the UP Chief Minister fired on Kar-Sevaks. Had they allowed Advani to reach Ayodhya and do symbolic Kar-Seva there would have been no Bandh, no violence, anywhere.
Shri VP Singh thought that BJP had secured 89 seats in 1989 because of seat adjustment with JD, and that was true enough. But he forgot that his JD had also got 143 seats only because of seat adjustment with the BJP. He now thought that in the absence of seat adjustment the BJP would lose scores of seats. Actually the BJP would lose scores of seats. Actually the BJO added 30 seats to its old score and it was the JD that declined to 59 seats. And but for the sudden killing of Mr Rajiv, which won the Congress scores of seats, both the BJP and the Congress would have been around 175 seats. This was particularly remarkable, because on this occasion the BJP had fought all alone. It had emerged as the only major solid pole in a fluid Indian political situation.
In assessing the BJP other parties make a serious mistake. They forget that as a result of our first-past-the-post electoral system, the first party has an undue advantage over No.2 Party. But the BJP, being a solid party and a solid pole, can always survive adverse winds and live to thrive another day. In 1984 the BJP had won only 2 seats, but in terms of vote it was second only to the Congress. Under a system of proportional representation its 7.4% vote would have won it 30-40 seats even in 1984. Therefore its win of 89 seats in 1989 was not all that much of a surprise. Parties like JD, being loose outfits, are in no position to survive serious reverses.
This trend has been confirmed in State Assembly elections. In the 1993 elections the BJP vote and seats declined in HP and MP thanks to strict administrative measures for which public opinion had not been prepared in advance. In UP the party lost its majority due to a gang-up of all other parties against it, but its popular vote went up by almost 30% to 34%. In Rajasthan both our vote and our seats went up. And in Delhi we got a whopping 61.59% and a three-fourths majority. In these five major states put together BJP won a hundred assembly seats and once crore votes more than the Congress.
The results of the 1995 elections in Andhra, Karnataka, Bihar, Orissa, Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra were, if anything, even more remarkable. In Andhra the main fight being between TDP and the Congress the BJP got squeezed to just 3 seats. But in Karnataka BJP won 40 seats, pushing the Congress to the third position. In Goa, for the first time the BJP won 4 seats in a house of 60. In Orissa BJP trebled its modest strength from 3 to 10. In Bihar BJP pushed Congress to the third position and emerged as the official opposition. In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena and the BJP have formed a fine coalition government. And in Gujarat the BJP has won a two-thirds majority. It is trends like these that have convinced even the detractors of BJP that the party is now "unstoppable".
wisdom is that the BJP won 89 Lok Sabha seats in 1989 as a result of seat
adjustments with JD and 119 seats in 1991 as a result of the Ayodhya issue.
The fact is that these were only contributory factors. The BJP's historic
performance in the recent assembly elections, when there was no seat adjustment
with other parties and when the Ayodhya issue stood frozen, is confirmation
of the fact that basically the BJP is forging ahead because of its excellent
organisation, superb leadership and patriotic people's policies.
Move on to Part 3
History of the BJP, Part 1
History of the BJP, Part 2
History of the BJP, Part 3
Material sourced from http://www.bjp.org/
The material presented is not factually modified in any way.
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