Rashtriya Janata Party

Rashtriya Janata Party was a political party in Gujarat, India. It was a splinter group of Bharatiya Janata Party. This group was led by Shankersinh Vaghela and Dilip Parikh. It was later dissolved and its leaders joined the Indian National Congress.[1][2][3]

Rashtriya Janata Party
LeaderShankersinh Vaghela
PresidentShankersinh Vaghela
ChairpersonDilip Parikh
FounderShankersinh Vaghela
Merged intoIndian National Congress
ECI StatusRegional Party

In 1995, BJP won a majority of 121 legislators out of a 182-member Legislative Assembly, who expressed a preference for Shankersinh Vaghela as their leader. Narendra Modi is said to have thrown his weight behind Keshubhai Patel in preference to Vaghela and held responsible for the ensuing events. However, the BJP leadership installed Keshubhai Patel as the Chief Minister and the support for Vaghela was gradually eroded.

In September 1995, Vaghela rebelled against the BJP leadership with the support of 47 MLAs.[4] Vaghela lost Godhra seat in May 1996 Lok Sabha polls, and soon left Bharatiya Janata Party with his supporters, bringing down Suresh Mehta's government. He floated his own party, named Rashtriya Janta Party and became Chief Minister with Indian National Congress's support in October 1996.

He won bye-poll to Gujarat Assembly from Radhanpur seat in early 1997. But he had to resign as Chief Minister during ongoing political turmoil in Gujarat in October 1997 and his fellow-rebel ex-BJP MLA Dilip Parikh became CM with Vaghela's reluctant blessings. Even Parikh's government did not last long and fresh elections for Gujarat Vidhan Sabha had to be called in 1998. Vaghela did not contest these elections. He merged his new party with Indian National Congress.[5][6][7][8]


  1. ^ Rashtriya Janata Party at Gujarat Vidhansabha
  2. ^ BJP bounces back in Gujarat after giving RJP and Congress a drubbing
  3. ^ Vaghela party merges into Congress
  4. ^ Nag, Kingshuk (2013). The NaMo Story - A Political Life. Roli Books. pp. 62–65. ISBN 978-8174369383.
  5. ^ [https://web.archive.org/web/20180820112648/http://eci.nic.in/eci_main/SR_KeyHighLights/SE_1995/StatisticalReport_GUJ95.pdf Archived 20 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Vaghela recalls the miles he journeyed with Modi
  7. ^ Modi vs Keshubhai vs Vaghela: The RSS connection
  8. ^ 5 things Narendra Modi's friend turned foe Shankersinh Vaghela