BJP vs. Congress

What's the Difference?

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress are two of the largest political parties in India with contrasting ideologies and approaches to governance. The BJP is known for its Hindu nationalist agenda and emphasis on economic development, while the Congress party has a more secular and socialist-leaning platform. The BJP has been in power in recent years, promoting a strong leader-centric approach, while the Congress has a more decentralized leadership structure. Both parties have a long history in Indian politics and have played significant roles in shaping the country's political landscape.


IdeologyHindutva, NationalismSecularism, Socialism
Current LeaderNarendra ModiSonia Gandhi
Political PositionRight-wingCenter-left
Number of Seats in Lok Sabha30352

Further Detail


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress, commonly known as Congress, are two of the major political parties in India. The Congress party was founded in 1885 and played a significant role in the Indian independence movement. It was the dominant political party in India for several decades after independence in 1947. The BJP, on the other hand, was founded in 1980 and has its roots in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist organization. The BJP's rise to power came in the 1990s, and it has since become a major player in Indian politics.


Congress is a centrist party with a focus on secularism and social welfare policies. It has historically been seen as a party that represents the interests of all religious and social groups in India. The BJP, on the other hand, is a right-wing party with a strong emphasis on Hindu nationalism. It advocates for policies that promote Hindu culture and values, and has been criticized for its stance on religious minorities and its nationalist agenda.


Congress has been led by prominent figures such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv Gandhi. The party has a long history of dynastic leadership, with several members of the Nehru-Gandhi family serving as Prime Ministers of India. The BJP, on the other hand, has been led by leaders such as Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani, and Narendra Modi. The party has a more decentralized leadership structure and has seen a rise in leaders from non-political backgrounds in recent years.

Electoral Performance

Congress has had periods of dominance in Indian politics, particularly in the early years after independence. However, the party has seen a decline in recent years, losing ground to the BJP in several key states. The BJP, on the other hand, has seen a surge in electoral performance, winning a majority in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) in 2014 and 2019. The party has also made significant gains in state elections across the country.


Congress has traditionally focused on policies that promote social welfare, economic development, and secularism. The party has implemented programs such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and the Right to Information Act. The BJP, on the other hand, has focused on policies that promote economic growth, national security, and Hindu nationalism. The party has implemented initiatives such as demonetization, the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.


Both the BJP and Congress are major political parties in India with significant influence on the country's political landscape. While Congress has a long history and a broad base of support, the BJP has seen a rise in popularity in recent years. The two parties have different ideologies, leadership styles, and policy priorities, which shape their approach to governance and their appeal to voters. As India continues to evolve politically and socially, the competition between the BJP and Congress will likely remain a key feature of the country's political landscape.

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