The Bharatiya Janata Party is one of the two major political parties in India, along with the Indian National Congress. As of 2016, it is the country's largest political party in terms of representation in the national parliament and state assemblies, and it is the world's largest party in terms of primary membership. The BJP is a right-wing party, with close ideological and organisational links to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The BJP's origins lie in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, formed in 1951 by Syama Prasad Mookerjee.
After the State of Emergency in 1977, the Jana Sangh merged with several other parties to form the Janata Party; it defeated the incumbent Congress party in the1977 general election. After three years in power, the Janata party dissolved in 1980 with the members of the erstwhile Jana Sangh reconvening to form the BJP. Although initially unsuccessful, winning only two seats in the 1984 general election, it grew in strength on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Following victories in several state elections and better performances in national elections, the BJP became the largest party in the parliament in 1996; however, it lacked a majority in the lower house of Parliament, and its government lasted only 13 days.