Congress vs. BJP: Indian Politics

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Difference between Congress and BJP

The Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) are two major political parties in India. Congress was established in 1885 and is one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. It led India in the struggle for independence and became the most dominant party in the movement to free India. BJP was established in 1980 and is the second largest political party. Both Congress and BJP form the major components of two largest coalitions in the country viz. United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) respectively. At present UPA is the ruling alliance under the leadership of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.

Congress
BJP

History

Before independence, Congress had two major groups – the Moderates and the Activists. Both groups worked with different ideologies, Activists being more aggressive. Since 1947 when India became an independent nation, Congress remained in power for 48 out of 60 years. Congress tasted defeat on a national level for the first time in 1977. The Bharatiya Janta Party was established in 1980 and took part in the Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Movement, during which it won support of millions of conservative Hindus. It remained in power from 1998 to 2004.

Ideology

Congress promotes populism, secularism, liberalism and supports the public / private partnership model (PPP). It opposes unregulated finance and business. Party believes in the development of every sector of society. As far as foreign policy is concerned, INC sticks to nonalignment. Bharatiya Janta party believes in the concept of Integral Humanism. According to BJP individual achievements and free markets play crucial role in the economic development and strongly advocates the concepts of the ancient Indian culture. It also supports the formation of new smaller states for better governance. Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh were the three new states formed by the government of BJP.

Criticisms

The period of national emergency (1975-1977) is considered to be the most controversial one in Indian History. After Indira Gandhi’s assassination many Congress party workers were accused of participating in the Sikh riots. Rajiv Gandhi’s remark- “When a mighty tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it shakes a little”, was criticised which pointed to the riots after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. BJP, on the other hand, was accused of spreading communal violence in Gujarat. Many leaders were arrested for spreading violence in the Rama Janmabhoomi case. Varun Gandhi who ran for election in 2009 on a ticket from BJP, was criticised for making remarks that could ignite the fire of hatred among Hindus and Muslims.

Summary

Congress

  • One of the oldest democratic political parties in the world.
  • It led India in the struggle for independence.
  • Congress remained in power for 48 out of 60 years after independence.
  • Congress promotes populism, secularism, liberalism and supports the public private partnership model (PPP).
  • After Indira Gandhi’s assassination many party workers were accused of participating in Sikh riots.

BJP

  • BJP was established in 1980 and is the second largest political party.
  • Believes in the concept of Integral Humanism.
  • Supports the formation of new smaller states for better governance.
  • Accused of spreading communal violence in Gujarat.
  • Many party leaders were involved in spreading violence during Rama Janmabhoomi movement.

 
 

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