In the seventh and last part of the series State of the Parties, we take a look at the BJP - a conservative mildly theocratic formulation that has grown into India's second largest party. The BJP occupies the Hindu rightwing space in the main although some who are not religious also support the party. Its fierce opponents are the Muslim rightwing parties, which is in contrast with the friendship the BJP has with Sikh rightwing outfits. The BJP opposes the Congress on political and social grounds. It has gained momentum over the past two decades, even heading two coalition governments at the Centre. In the 2014 General Election, it is the party to watch out for.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has a curious problem. It has a senior member all eager to be the prime minister - but the party is not too sure.
This is exactly the opposite of the Congress dilemma - the party is ready with its choice but the person they want to back is not too keen.
The BJP hasn't announced Narendra Modi as its choice for the top post because of reasons associated with religion.
The horrific Gujarat riots occurred in 2002 when Modi was the chief minister (he still is). Religious identity was at the heart of the riots and all events around them.
A group of Hindu kar sevaks were set alight in a train compartment at Godhra as they returned from Ayodhya on 27 February 2002. They were killed because they were Hindu kar sevaks; not because they were rapists, poachers, drug dealers or tax evaders.
Soon after, hundreds of Muslims were killed in several parts of Gujarat. They were murdered because they were Muslims; not because they were real estate goons, paedophiles, traitors or serial killers.
Modi has won all elections in Gujarat since the riots. The BJP has lost all Lok Sabha elections since.
What's good for Modi doesn't seem to be good for the BJP. The immediate future of the party rests on resolving this dilemma.
But the BJP has grown in many states all this while, largely acquiring members who in the past may have backed the Congress.
The BJP also has strong support among the urban youth who are driven by IT and who know India primarily from the 1990s.
For this, the BJP is The Challenger - its role will be to unseat the Congress-led UPA.
Image: India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) senior leader and Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi (L), hugs BJP President Rajnath Singh during a BJP National Council two day meeting in New Delhi on March 2, 2013.