|Founder||Syama Prasad Mukherjee|
|Founded||21 October 1951|
|Split from||Hindu Mahasabha|
|Merged into||Janata Party (1977–1980)|
|Succeeded by||Bharatiya Janata Party (1980–present)|
The Bharatiya Jana Sangh (abbrv. BJS or JS, short name: Jan Sangh, full name: Akhil Bharatiya Jana Sangh) was an Indian right wing political party that existed from 1951 to 1977 and was the political arm of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation. In 1977, it merged with several other left, centre and right parties opposed to the Indian National Congress and formed the Janata Party. In 1980, Jana Sangh faction broke away from Janata Party over the issue of dual membership (of the political Janata Party and the social organization RSS), and formed Bharatiya Janata Party.
After 1949, members of the right-wing Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) began to contemplate the formation of a political party to continue their work, begun in the days of the British Raj, and take their ideology further. Around the same time, Syama Prasad Mookerjee left the Hindu Mahasabha political party that he had once led because of a disagreement with that party over permitting non-Hindu membership. The BJS was subsequently started by Mookerjee on 21 October 1951 in Delhi, with the collaboration of the RSS, as a "nationalistic alternative" to the Congress Party.
The symbol of the party in Indian elections was an oil lamp and, like the RSS, its ideology was centred on Hindutva. In the 1952 general elections to the Parliament of India, BJS won three seats, Mookerjee being one of the winning candidates. The BJS would often link up on issues and debates with the centre-right Swatantra Party of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari. After the death of Mookerjee in 1953, RSS activists in the BJS edged out the career politicians and made it a political arm of the RSS and an integral part of the RSS family of organisations (Sangh Parivar).
The BJS was ideologically close to the RSS, and derived most of its political activist base and candidates from the RSS ranks. It also attracted many economically conservative members of Congress who were disenchanted with the more socialist policies and politics of Jawaharlal Nehru and the Congress Party. The BJS's strongest constituencies were in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The BJS leadership strongly supported a stringent policy against Pakistan and China, and were averse to the USSR and communism. Many BJS leaders also inaugurated the drive to ban cow slaughter nationwide in the early 1960s.
In 1975, Indira Gandhi declared a state of Emergency, and threw many major opposition politicians in jail including the leaders of the BJS. In 1977, the Emergency was withdrawn, and elections were held. The BJS, joined forces with the Bharatiya Lok Dal, the Congress (O), and the Socialist Party, to form the Janata Party (People's Party). The Janata Party became the first Indian government not led by what was by then called the Indian National Congress. Former BJS leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L. K. Advani became the External Affairs (Foreign), and Information and Broadcasting Ministers respectively.
1. Syama Prasad Mookerjee (1951–52)
2. Mauli Chandra Sharma (1954)
3. Prem Nath Dogra (1955)
4. Debaprasad Ghosh (1956–59)
5. Pitambar Das (1960)
6. Avasarala Rama Rao (1961)
4. Debaprasad Ghosh (1962)
7. Raghu Vira (1963)
8. Debaprasad Ghosh (1964)
4. Bachhraj Vyas (1965)
9. Balraj Madhok (1966)
10. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (1967–68)
11. Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1968–72)
12. Lal Krishna Advani (1973–77)
The Bharatiya Jana Sangh was created in 1951, and the first general election it contested was in 1951–52, in which it won only three Lok Sabha seats, in line with the four seats won by Hindu Mahasabha and three seats won by Ram Rajya Parishad. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and Durga Charan Banerjee were elected from Bengal and Uma Shankar Trivedi from Rajasthan. All the like-minded parties formed a block in the Parliament, led by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee.
|Year||General Election||Seats Won||Change in Seat||% of votes||Ref.|
|1951 Indian general election||1st Lok Sabha||3||–||3.06|||
|1957 Indian general election||2nd Lok Sabha||4||1||5.93|||
|1962 Indian general election||3rd Lok Sabha||14||10||6.44|||
|1967 Indian general election||4th Lok Sabha||35||21||9.41|||
|1971 Indian general election||5th Lok Sabha||22||13||7.35|||
Thousands of rupees worth of damage to buildings and vehicles, both private and public, was caused by the mob which, in a violent and vociferous way, was demonstrating for the imposition of a ban on cow slaughter by Government. The parties who organised the demonstration, the number of participants in which was estimated between 3 lakhs and 7 lakhs, were the Jan Sangh, the Hindu Mahasabha, the Arya Samaj and the Sanatan Dharma Sabha