Swatantra Party
Swatantra Party

Swatantra Party was founded in the year 1959 by leaders opposing the socialistic policies of the Congress government. Some of the prominent leaders of the time including C Rajagopalachari, Minoo Masani and N G Ranga collaborated to form a liberal-conservative party. The party stood for market-based economy and the dismantling of the license raj.

In its first party convention held in Bombay on 1st August 1959, several regional parties and erstwhile Kings and Princes including the Maharajas of Jaipur and Patiala joined the alliance to form a strong liberal front opposing the socialist and communist political ideology then dominating Indian political discourse.

Other distinguished members of Swatantra included Dayabhai Patel the son of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, businessmen like Homi Mody, A D Shroff and experienced members of the civil service like H M Patel, Narayan Dandekar and J M Lobo Prabhu. N G Ranga went on to become the first party president while, Minoo Masani was elected as the secretary of the party.

The Swatantra Party contested its first general election in the year 1962 and won 25 seats in the third Lok Sabha of 1962- 1967. It also won a total of 207 seats in various other state assembly elections and went on to form a main opposition to Congress in four states including Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Orissa. The next general election of 1967 made Swatantra party the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha with a total of 44 seats. Unfortunately, the rise of the party came to a halt after it managed to obtain just 8 seats in the next general elections of the year 1971.

After Rajaji’s death in 1972, the party lost its momentum. In 1974, the Swatantra Party joined six other opposition parties to form the Bharatiya Lok Dal.

Statement of Principles of The Swatantra Party, Aug 2, 1959

Statement of Principles of The Swatantra Party included principles that the party aimed to live by. These were adopted at a Preparatory Convention held at Bombay on August l and 2, 1959. These principles included a pledge to Social Justice and equality of opportunity for all people without distinction of religion, caste, occupation, or political…

Sixth National Convention: Swatantra Souvenir, 1973

The Swatantra Souvenir was published by the Swatantra Party in 1973, after the death of C Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) in 1972. The Souvenir recaptures the troubled mind and voice of Rajaji, which in the last fifteen years of his life was one of pain and anguish at the way things were going on in India. The…

Congress Misrule and the Swatantra Alternatives, 1966

The Congress Misrule and the Swatantra Alternative was written by Swatantra Party MP, M.R. Masani and published in 1966. The book is a compilation of MR Masani’s speeches that shed light on the Swatantra Party’s stance and their goal of providing the people with a better government than the ruling party, at the time, was…

Devaluation: The Guilty Men

Swatantra Party was founded in the year 1959 by leaders opposing the socialistic policies of the Congress government. Some of the prominent leaders of the time including C Rajagopalachari, Minoo Masani and N G Ranga collaborated to form a liberal and conservative party. The party stood for market-based economy and the dismantling of the license…

For God’s Sake, Go

Swatantra Party was founded in the year 1959 by leaders opposing the socialistic policies of the Congress government. Some of the prominent leaders of the time including C Rajagopalachari, Minoo Masani and N G Ranga collaborated to form a liberal and conservative party. The party stood for market-based economy and the dismantling of the license…

Foreign Capital? Yes! Govt-to-Govt Loans? No!

The pamphlet ‘Foreign Capital? Yes! Govt-to-Govt Loans? No!’ was published by the Swatantra Party. The first half of the pamphlet covers Minoo Masani’s speech on May 3,1996 during the discussion on the Finance Bill, in which he elaborates upon the resolution he had tabled, which failed to be discussed due to a paucity of time….

Manifesto for the State Assembly Re-election, 1974

The State Assembly Re-election Manifesto was published by the Swatantra Party in the year 1974. The manifesto aimed at a revolutionary and progressive change in the economic, social and political regimentation done by the Congress Party. The manifesto was centred around the belief that social, moral and economic development in Uttar Pradesh could be brought…

Garibi Hatao: The Swatantra Way

Published by the Swatantra Party, Garibi Hatao: The Swatantra Way is a short essay written by Manubhai Amersey that sheds light on the failures of Indira Gandhi’s Garibi Hatao movement by looking at the different facets of poverty in India. The author spells out the Swatantra Way of addressing the question of poverty, which is…

National Priorities for 1970

Published by the Swatantra Party in 1970, the National Priorities Pamphlet is a transcript of the press conference addressed by MR Masani, MP and President of the Swatantra Party, in New Delhi on 31st December 1969. The speech lays emphasis on matters that need to be given immediate priority. First, a clean, efficient and prompt…