The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or “Indian People’s Party” is a right-wing political party which rules this nation today. Officially this party was formed in 1980 by senior leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, and it flourished under the auspices of RSS ideology which is deeply committed to Hindutva based political philosophy. ‘Hindutva’ and ‘Integral Humanism’ are two principles that constitute the ideology of this party. Most of the BJP leaders are members of Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) which is a political wing of RSS. The BJS was founded by Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in 1951 to counterattack the Congress ideology.
BJP is a party of an urban middle class, businessmen, and white collared people. It enjoys a substantial foothold in Hindi speaking heartlands. The overwhelming majority of its prominent leaders have RSS background. Recently, BJP has been registered as the world’s largest political party with over 10 crore members.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani, and Murli Manohar Joshi were among its first generation leaders with a Jana Sangh background while Pramod Mahajan, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Ananth Kumar, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Vasundhara Raje, and Ravi Shankar Prasad are among others who could be called as the second generation leaders who led their mark in the 1990s. The first generation leaders are now assigned as the guide in their capacity to BJP’s ‘guiding force’. The third generation of BJP leaders like Smriti Irani, Yogi Adityanath, Devendra Fadnavis, Biplab Kumar Deb, Babul Supriyo, Rajyavardhan Rathore, and Manoj Tiwari are being nurtured by Modi and Shah who are holding important Union Cabinet portfolios and also are functional on different organisational posts in the party. At the state level, organisational positions appointments like Jitu Vaghani as Gujarat BJP chief, Nityanand Rai as Bihar BJP chief and MN Pandey as UP BJP chief have been done by the Modi-Shah duo.
If given a close look at its ministerial list, one can conclude that Narendra Modi-led NDA government specialises in appointing rejected candidates who have been thrown away by the public in general elections but are the prime working force of this government.
Considering top brass political leaders of today’s BJP, Arun Jaitley tops this taskforce as he has always been one of the most significant strategists of the party. Jaitley held various Cabinet portfolios of Finance, Defence, Corporate Affairs, Commerce, and Industry in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Despite losing the Lok Sabha election from Amritsar in 2014, he had been given the charge as the Finance Minister in the Modi government.
Modi’s close aide Amit Shah currently serves as the President of the BJP and he is also a member of the Rajya Sabha who was previously charged with murder, extortion, and kidnapping cases; he even held a number of portfolios in the state government during Modi’s tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Shah was the BJP’s in-charge for Uttar Pradesh during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and is the main machinery of the party.
Nirmala Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2008 and has served as a spokesperson for the party. In 2014, she was inducted into Narendra Modi’s Cabinet as a junior minister; she too is a Rajya Sabha Member from Karnataka and in 2017, she was given the Defence Ministry. She is the second woman after Indira Gandhi who holds the post of the Defence Minister.
Suresh Prabhu is another senior leader of BJP and a Cabinet Minister in Narendra Modi government. He was the Union Railway Minister till 2017. He is the incumbent Minister of Commerce and Industry since September 2017. He is also an elected Rajya Sabha member from the state of Andhra Pradesh who failed to get a mandate in general elections. Currently, he is the Union Minister of Civil Aviation since 2018.
Ravi Shankar Prasad is another senior Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar who held various portfolios in Vajpayee government and currently holds Law and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology portfolio.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, another Rajya Sabha MP is the Minister of State for Minority Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs. Prakash Javadekar, apart from being the official spokesperson of the BJP, holds the portfolio of Information and Broadcasting. Minister of Railways, Coal in the Government of India, Piyush Goyal, is believed to be close to Modi and Jaitley.
The list also includes Thawar Chand Gehlot, MJ Akbar, Narayan Rane, Vijay Goel, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and Vijay Goel, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan — who are not elected by the public mandate but are ruling the country. Similarly, Dharmendra Pradhan’s promotion to the Cabinet rank and his virtual projection as the party’s CM candidate in Odisha, have greatly enhanced his political profile. Actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani has earned the reputation of a politician with a penchant for taking on her political rivals.
In short, the above list suggests that the Modi government has dispensed this country to a handful of individuals who only pursuit for power and retain their political journeys irrespective of people’s mandate.
The duo from Gujarat, in tandem with their rejected team, is governing this nation. Under the flagship of these broken soldiers, it’s interesting to watch how they will play the battle of 2019.