From Fringe to Mainstream: The Rise of the BJP in India
Lok Sabha 2019
Narendra Modi’s BJP has won 303 out of 543 parliamentary seats in India’s Lok Sabha general elections, keeping its absolute majority and granting Modi another term as prime minister.
Heading up to the elections, the BJP was tipped to lose seats rather than gain them, as protests by farmers and an economic slowdown intensified leading up to the elections. Yet, the Hindu nationalists emerged stronger than ever.
The rise of the BJP as India’s majority party was an unlikely one. Its predecessor, the right-wing Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) party, gained only marginal support and joined the Janata Party (People’s Party), which won the 1977 elections as a catch-all union opposing the declaration of a state of emergency in the country. After the Janata Party dissolved in 1980, the party was recreated as the BJP and started from the bottom again, gaining followers emphasizing Hindu national pride and hardline politics.
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