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The Indian National Congress (also known as the Congress, and abbreviated INC) is a major political party in Indiamarker. Founded in 1885 by Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Wacha, Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee, Surendranath Banerjee, Monomohun Ghose, and William Wedderburn, the Indian National Congress became the leader of the Indian Independence Movement, with over 15 million members and over 70 million participants in its struggle against British rule in India. After independence in 1947, it became the nation's dominant political party, led by the Nehru-Gandhi family for most of the part, challenged for leadership only recently.

In the 2009 general elections, the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha, with 206 of its candidates getting elected to the 543-member house. Consequently, it along with a coalition of allies called the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), was able to gain a majority and form the government.


The history of the Indian National Congress falls into two distinct eras:
  • The pre-independence era, when the party was at the forefront of the struggle for independence and was instrumental in the whole of India;
  • The post-independence era, when the party has enjoyed a prominent place in Indian politics, ruling the country for 48 of the 60 years since independence in 1947.

In the pre-independence era, the congress was divided in two groups, moderate and activist. The moderates were more educated and wanted to win people's faith to lead the nation to independence without bloodshed.the activists however wanted to follow a revolutionary path and make it a militant organization.

The pre-independence era

First session of Indian National Congress, Bombay, 28-31, December, 1885.

Founded in 1885 with the objective of obtaining a greater share in government for educated Indians, the Indian National Congress was initially not opposed to Britishmarker rule. The Congress met once a year during December. Indeed, it was a Scotsmanmarker, Allan Octavian Hume, who brought about its first meeting in Bombaymarker, with the approval of Lord Dufferin, the then-Viceroy.

Womesh Chandra Bannerjee was the first President of the INC. The first meeting was scheduled to be held in Punemarker, but due to a plague outbreak there, the meeting was later shifted to Bombay. The first Session of INC was held from 28-31 December 1885, and was attended by 72 delegates.

A few years down the line, the demands of INC became more radical in the face of constant opposition from the government, and the party became very active in the independence movement. By 1907 the party was split into two halves: the Garam Dal (literally "hot faction") of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, or Extremists , and the Naram Dal (literally "soft faction") of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, or Moderates , distinguished by their attitude towards the British. Under the influence of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Congress became the first integrated mass organization in the country, bringing together millions of people against the British. The Indian National Congress was the only political party to provide harmony to all the sects of the Indian society

In its time as the nation's leader in the freedom struggle, it produced the nation's greatest leaders. Before the Gandhi Era came leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mohammed Ali Jinnah (later leader of the Muslim League and instrumental in the creation of Pakistanmarker), all starting with the first legendary icon of Indians: Dadabhai Naoroji, the president of the sister Indian National Association and later the first Indian Member of Parliament in the British House of Commonsmarker. The Congress was transformed into a mass movement by Surendranath Banerjea and Sir Henry Cotton during the partition of Bengal in 1905 and the resultant Swadesi Movement. Gandhi came back from South Africa in 1915 and with the help of the pro-British group led by Ghokhale became the President of The Congress and formed an alliance with the Khilafat Movement. In protest a number of leaders went out of Congress. Khilafat movement ended up in a disaster and The Congress was split. A number of leaders Chittaranjan Das, Annie Besant, Motilal Nehru, went out of The Congress to set up the Swaraj Party.

With the rise of Mahatma Gandhi's popularity and his Satyagraha art of revolution came Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (the nation's first Prime Minister), Dr. Rajendra Prasad (the nation's first President), Khan Mohammad Abbas Khan, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Chakravarti Rajgopalachari, Jivatram Kripalani and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. With the already existing nationalistic feeling combined with Gandhi's popularity the Congress became a forceful mass organization in the country, bringing together millions of people by specifically working against caste differences, untouchability, poverty, and religious and ethnic boundaries. Although predominantly Hindu, it had members from virtually every religion, ethnic group, economic class and linguistic group. In 1939, Subhas Chandra Bose, the elected president in both 1938 and 1939 was expelled from the Congress for his socialist views and The Congress was reduced to a pro-Business group financed by the business houses of Birla and Bajaj. At the time of the Quit India movement, the Congress was undoubtedly the strongest political and revolutionary organization in India, but the Congress disassociated itself from the Quit India movement within a few days. The Indian National Congress could not claim to be the true representative of the Indian people as other parties were there as well particularly the Hindu Mahasabha, Azad Hind Sarkar, Forward Bloc.

The 1929 Lahore session under the presidency of Jawaharlal Nehru holds special significance as in this session "Poorna Swaraj" (complete independence) was declared as the goal of INC. The 26th January 1930 was declared as "Poorna Swaraj Diwas," Independence Day although the British remained in India a number of years longer. It was to commemorate this date particularly that The Indian Constitution was formally adopted on 26 January 1950 (even though it was passed on 26 November 1949).However in 1929 Srinivas Iyenger was expelled from the Congress for demanding full independence, not just home rule as demanded by Gandhi.

After the First World War the party became associated with Mahatma Gandhi, who remained its unofficial, spiritual leader and mass icon even as younger men and women became party president. The party was in many ways an umbrella organization, sheltering within itself radical socialists, traditionalists and even Hindu and Muslim conservatives, but all the socialists (including the Congress Socialist Party, Krishak Praja Party, Swarajya Party members) were expelled along with Subhas Chandra Bose in 1939 by Gandhi.

Members of the Congress initially supported the sailors who led the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny. However they withdrew support at the critical juncture, when the mutiny failed.

During the INA trials of 1946, the Congress helped to form the INA Defence Committee, which forcefully defended the case of the soldiers of the Azad Hind government. The committee declared the formation of the Congress' defence team for the INA and included famous lawyers of the time, including Bhulabhai Desai, Asaf Ali, and Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Post-Independence Era

The party remained in power for thirty continuous years between independence in 1947 and its first taste of electoral defeat (at the national level) in 1977.

Jawaharlal Nehru

Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel are said to have held the view that the INC was formed only for achieving independence and should have been disbanded in 1947. However, at the time of independence, the INC (led by Jawaharlal Nehru) was a major political organization in the country, and was established as the major political party. The Congress thus, considering the perceived need for a stable leadership and guiding vision after the terrible chaos and confusion following the Partition of India and Independence, was re-established as an electoral party in independent India. Across several general elections, the party ruled uninterrupted until 1977, and has remained a major political force.

After the murder of Gandhi in 1948, and the death of Sardar Patel in 1950, Jawaharlal Nehru was the sole remaining iconic national leader, and soon the situation became so that Nehru was key to the political potency and future of the Congress. Nehru embraced secularism, socialist economic policies and a non-aligned foreign policy, which became the hallmark of the modern Congress Party. Nehru's policies challenged the landed class, the business class and improved the position of religious minorities and lower caste Hindus. A generation of freedom fighting leaders were soon replaced by a generation of people who had grown up in the shadow of Nehru. Nehru led the Congress Party to consecutively majorities in the elections of 1952, 1957 and 1962.

After Nehru's death in 1964, the party's future first came into question. No leader was competitive enough to touch Nehru's iconic status, so the second-stage leadership mustered around the compromise candidate, the gentle, soft-spoken and Nehruvian Lal Bahadur Shastri. Shastri remained Prime Minister till his own death in 1966, and a broad Congress Party election opted for Indira Gandhi, Nehru's daughter, over the right-wing, conservative Morarji Desai.

Indira Gandhi

The first serious challenge to Congress hegemony came in 1967 when a united opposition, under the banner of Samyukt Vidhayak Dal, won control over several states in the Hindi belt. Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Nehru, and Congress president, was then challenged by the majority of the party leadership. The conflict led to a split, and Indira launched a separate INC. Initially this party was known as Congress (R), but it soon came to be generally known as the New Congress. The official party became known as Indian National Congress led by Kamaraj. It was informally called the Old Congress. As Indira Priyadarshini had control over the state machinery, her faction was recognized as the "real" INC by the Election Commission of India, although her organization was the break-away group.

The split can in some ways be seen as a left-wing/right-wing division. Indira Gandhi wanted to use a populist agenda in order to mobilize popular support for the party. She raised slogans such as Garibi Hatao (Remove Poverty), and wanted to develop closer ties with the Soviet Unionmarker. The regional party elites, who formed the INC(O), stood for a more conservative agenda, and distrusted Soviet help. INC(O) later merged into the Janata Party.

Gradually, Indira Gandhi grew more and more authoritarian. Following allegations of widespread rigging in the general elections, a court overturned Indira Gandhi's victory in the Parliamentary constituency. Facing growing opposition she proclaimed a state of National Emergency in 1975, curtailed the powers of the courts, and unleashed a police state.

After she lifted the emergency in 1977, more Congress factions were formed, the one remaining loyal to Indira Gandhi being popularly known as Congress(I) with an 'I' for Indira. The Congress (I) was routed in the general elections by the Janata Party, but the coalition government fell apart in two years. The Congress party returned to power in the ensuing 1980 elections. In 1984 Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards, in revenge for Operation Blue Star. In the following days more than six thousand Sikhs were killed in the 1984 riots, mainly in Delhimarker, by activists and leaders of the Congress Party.

The Post-Indira era

Afterwards former treasurer Sitaram Kesri took over the reins of the party and oversaw the Congress support to the United Front governments that ran from 1996–1998. During his tenure, several key leaders broke away from the party, and serious infighting broke out among those left. In 1998, Sonia Gandhi finally accepted the post of Congress President, in a move that may have saved the party from extinction.

After her election as party leader, a section of the party, which objected to the choice, broke away and formed the Nationalist Congress Party. The use of "Congress (I)" continues to denote the party run by Indira Gandhi's successors. There have been repeated attempts by the Indian nationalist groups (such as the Bharatiya Janata Party) to discredit Sonia Gandhi's leadership on the basis of her foreign origin - she is Italian-born.

Although the Congress expedited the downfall of the NDA government in 1999 by promising an alternative, Ms. Gandhi's decision was followed by fresh elections and the Congress party's worst-ever tally in the lower house. The party spent the interval period forging alliances and overseeing changes in the state and central organizations to revive the party. It has had many electoral successes which led up to the formation of a Congress-led government in 2004. In the next general election in 2009 which made Manmohan Singh the Prime Minister once again, and Congress was the first party to get 206 seats during a coalition era of politics.

Indian Prime Ministers from the Congress Party

Controversies and criticisms

Since the party has dominated the political landscape of Indiamarker for over a century, there are many charges of corruption and similar charges against it. Some examples are:

1947 - Anti-Godse riots

After the knowledge that the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, Nathuram Godse, was a Maharashtrian Brahmin, some workers of the Congress Party went on a rampage, against the supporters of Savarkar and Nathuram Godse, burning their houses and putting thousands in jail.

1975-1977 - State of Emergency

On 12 June 1975 the High Court of Allahabad declared Indira Gandhi's election to the Lok Sabha void on grounds of electoral malpractice. But Mrs Gandhi rejected calls to resign and announced plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Indira had already been accused of authoritarianism. By using her strong parliamentary majority, her ruling Congress Party had amended the Constitution and altered the balance of power between the Centre and the States in favour of the Central Government. She had twice imposed "President's Rule" under Article 356 of the Constitution by declaring states ruled by opposition parties as "lawless and chaotic", and thus seizing control. In response to her new tendency for authoritarian use of power, public figures and former freedom-fighters like Jaya Prakash Narayan, Satyendra Narayan Sinha and Acharya Jivatram Kripalani toured India, speaking actively against her and her government.

Gandhi moved to restore order by ordering the arrest of most of the opposition participating in the unrest. Her Cabinet and government then recommended that President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declare a state of emergency, because of the disorder and lawlessness following the Allahabad High Court decision. Accordingly, Ahmed declared a State of Emergency caused by internal disorder, based on the provisions of Article 352 of the Constitution, on 26 June 1975.It is one of the most controversial periods in the history of independent India.

1984 anti-Sikh riots

After the assassination of Indira Gandhi by 2 of her Sikh Body Guards following Operation Bluestar, many Congress workers including Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar were accused of inciting and participating in Sikh riots.

Rajiv Gandhi's remarks

Then Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi, made a statement at Boat Club in New Delhi on 19 November 1984, on the birthday of Indira Gandhi, "Some riots took place in the country following the murder of Indiraji. We know the people were very angry and for a few days it seemed that India had been shaken. But, when a mighty tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it does shake a little.".

Allegations of conspiracy and cover-ups

There are allegations that the government destroyed evidence and shielded the guilty. The Asian Age front page story called the government actions "the Mother of all Cover-ups" There are allegations that the violence was led and often perpetrated by Indian National Congress activists and sympathizers during the riots. The government, then led by the Congress, was widely criticized for doing very little at the time, possibly acting as a conspirator. The conspiracy theory is supported by the fact that voting lists were used to identify Sikh families.

Volcker report

The Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) appointed by the United Nations in its final report released on October 27, 2005 confirms that documents state: 'Beneficiary: India: Congress Party' with an entitlement of 4 million barrels of crude' and 'Beneficiary: India: Singh Mr K. Natwar' with an entitlement of 4 million barrels'. Natwar Singh was subsequently suspended from the party.

Allegations of the BJP

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has repeatedly accused the Congress Party and its allies of being Pro-Muslim, supporting Sharia Laws and showing unnatural favouritism to the Indian Muslim Community and toleration, or even promotion of Islamic Conservatism and Obscurantism.

The BJP and many Hindus have often accused Congress Party and their Allies of being soft on Islamic Extremism, Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic terrorism and Islamism by scrapping Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act immediately after it won the elections in 2004, refusing death penalty to hard-core Islamic Terrorists like Afzal Guru, Abdul Subhan Qureshi, Safdar Nagori, Ajmal Kasab and even trying to scrap the ban on SIMI in order to appease Indian Muslim Community. It has also been soft on Indian Terrorist Groups like Indian Mujahideen which resulted in the resignation of then Home Minister Shivraj Patil in 2008.

Congress has been accused of deliberately fragmenting Hindus while consolidating conservative Muslim votes (by opposing the Uniform Civil Code and allowing Muslims a separate personal code, etc).

The UPA and previous Congress-led governments have been accused of revising history textbooks to present a Marxist bias, and whitewashing the record of Atrocities committed by Muslim Emperors and Kings on Hindus during six-hundred years of Islamic Rule over India and during the Partition of India in order to "de-saffronize" textbooks and acquire Muslim votes.

Hindus have often accused Congress of funding the Indian Muslim's Hajj pilgrimage to Meccamarker and subsidies for their religious schools (Madrassas) at the cost of the tax payer's money. On one hand, Government of India provides subsidy to Muslims to perform Hajj; on other hand, Government of India bound them to fly through government airlines and also gets subsidy from Saudi Arabiamarker for services providing to Indian Muslims, whereas Hindus claim they are accorded no similar privilege for their own pilgrimages or religious schools by the Government of India.

Many Hindus the accuse Congress Party and its allies of showing "partial" Secularism, in which only Hindus are expected to be secular while Muslims and other minorities remain free to practice exclusionary practices..

Charges for bidding for seats

In November 2008, senior Congress leader, Margaret Alva, made a charge that congress seats for the elections were up for bidding as opposed to a meritocratic appointment to run. The party responded to the charge by denying such a claim, as well as dropping her as general secretary of the party, the Congress Working Committee and the party's Central Election Committee. She was also stripped of her charge of the congress party in Maharashtramarker, Punjabmarker, Haryanamarker and Mizorammarker. Congress spokesperson, Shakeel Ahmad, added that "Congress president Mrs Sonia Gandhi has taken the decision on the report submitted by Mr AK Antony, chairperson of the Disciplinary Action Committee." This followed an outburst by the son of the congress chairperson, Rahul Gandhi, that "Democracy in political parties is non-existent in India. You cannot enter unless you are well connected." In response the recent allegations he said, "I had made some recommendations to include some younger boys. I am not unhappy with the distribution of tickets."

Formation of present Government of India

In the 2004 general elections, the Congress alliance won the largest number of seats and got an assurance of support from the Left Front upsetting the Atal Behari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance, which was variously forecast to win outright victory or at least emerge as the largest alliance. Shortly thereafter, Sonia Gandhi was nominated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance to be the next Prime Minister. But in what was described as the dropping of a political bombshell, Sonia Gandhi refused to take the position based on her "inner voice". She backed eminent economist, former Union Finance Minister and senior Congress leader Dr. Manmohan Singh for the post of Prime Minister, and he was sworn-in as Prime Minister on 22 May 2004. Veerappa Moily, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, was named the Honourable Minister for Law, Justice, and Company Affairs and was appointed to be the All India Congress Committee's General Secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh.

Despite strong opposition from the BJP , AIADMK , SP ,RJD , LJP , TDP , CPI , CPIM , BSP the Indian National Congress won the elections again in 2009 , the people gave their mandate to the Congress party and it was the only party to achieve 206 seats in 20 years. The youth supported the Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. The Congress's popularity has increased by 61 % during the elections.

Policies and programmes

Social policy

Social policy of the INC is based on Gandhian concept of Sarvodaya (upliftment of all sections of the society.) In particular INC gives special emphasis on the welfare of the economically and socially disadvantaged sections of the society. This includes "affirmative action" reservations for weaker sections of the society in education and employment, emphasis on employment generation for rural population (through schemes such as National Rural Employment Generation Scheme) etc. The party supports birth control and family planning but opposes elective abortion, in particular sex selective abortions.

Economic policy

Traditionally, Economic policy of the INC emphasized on the importance of the public sector aimed at establishing a "socialistic pattern of society." However, since the economic liberalizations initiated by Dr. Manmohan Singh, the then Finance Minister in the early nineties of the last century, the economic policy of INC has been changed somewhat and it is now committed to liberalization and market economy, though at the same time it is in favour of taking a cautious approach in proceeding with liberalization to ensure that the weaker sections are not affected too hard by the liberalization process.

Foreign policy

Traditionally, nonalignment has been the bedrock of the foreign policy of the INC.

Internal organization

The organization developed by Mohandas Gandhi's reorganization of the Congress in the years of 1918 to 1920 has largely been retained till today.

In every Indian state and union territory or pradesh, there is a Pradesh Congress Committee, which is the provincial unit of the party, responsible for directing political campaigns at local and state levels and assisting the campaigns for Parliamentary constituencies. Each PCC has a Working Committee of 10-15 key members, and the state president is the leader of the state unit. The Congressmen elected as members of the states legislative assemblies form the Congress Legislature Parties in the various state assemblies, and their chairperson is usually the party's nominee for Chief Ministership.

The All India Congress Committee is formed of delegates sent from the PCCs around the country. The delegates elect various Congress committees, including the Congress Working Committee, which consists of senior party leaders and office bearers, and takes all important executive and political decisions.

The President of the Indian National Congress is in effect the party's national leader, head of the organization, head of the Working Committee and all chief Congress committees, chief spokesman and the Congress choice to become the Prime Minister of India.

Constitutionally, the president is to be elected by the vote of the PCCs and members of the AICC. However, this procedure has often been by-passed by the Working Committee, choosing to elect its own candidate as an emergency measure.

The Congress Parliamentary Party is the group of elected MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.It is headed by senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee. Since the current Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh is not an elected member of the Lok Sabha, Pranab is the CPP president. Dr.Singh is Leader of the Rajya Sabha. There is also a CLP leader in each state. The CLP(Congress Legislative Party) consists of all MLAs in each state. It also comes under the CPP so Pranab is head of the MLAs also.In cases of states where the Congress is single-handedly ruling the government,the CLP leader is the Chief Minister.

Congress in various states

Congress ruled states marked in green
Congress is currently in power in seven states (Andhra Pradeshmarker, Arunachal Pradeshmarker, Delhimarker, Rajasthanmarker, Haryanamarker, Mizorammarker and Manipurmarker) where the party enjoys a majority of its own. In three other states — Assammarker, Goamarker and Maharashtramarker — it shares power with other alliance partners. In Tamil Nadumarker, where it lost power in 1967 assembly election, is not able to capture again since then. The party now provides outside support to the ruling DMK there in return for DMK's outside support for Congress in Puducherrymarker . In the remaining states and union territories, various opposition parties are in power.

List of current Congress Chief Ministers

List of presidents of the party

Name of President Life Span Year of Presidency Place of Conference
Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee December 29, 1844- 1906 1885 Mumbaimarker
Dadabhai Naoroji September 4, 1825- 1917 1886 Calcuttamarker
Badruddin Tyabji October 10, 1844- 1906 1887 Madrasmarker
George Yule 1829- 1892 1888 Allahabadmarker
Sir William Wedderburn 1838- 1918 1889 Mumbaimarker
Sir Pherozeshah Mehta August 4, 1845- 1915 1890 Calcuttamarker
P. Anandacharlu August 1843- 1908 1891 Nagpurmarker
Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee December 29, 1844- 1906 1892 Allahabadmarker
Dadabhai Naoroji September 4, 1848- 1925 1893 Lahoremarker
Alfred Webb 1834- 1908 1894 Madrasmarker
Surendranath Banerjea November 10, 1848- 1925 1895 Punemarker
Rahimtulla M. Sayani April 5, 1847- 1902 1896 Calcuttamarker
Sir C. Sankaran Nair July 11, 1857- 1934 1897 Amraotimarker
Ananda Mohan Bose September 23, 1847- 1906 1898 Madrasmarker
Romesh Chunder Dutt August 13, 1848- 1909 1899 Lucknowmarker
Sir Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar December 2, 1855- 1923 1900 Lahoremarker
Sir Dinshaw Edulji Wacha August 2, 1844- 1936 1901 Calcuttamarker
Surendranath Banerjea November 10, 1825- 1917 1902 Ahmedabadmarker
Lalmohan Ghosh 1848- 1909 1903 Madrasmarker
Sir Henry Cotton 1845- 1915 1904 Mumbaimarker
Gopal Krishna Gokhale May 9, 1866- 1915 1905 Benaresmarker
Dadabhai Naoroji September 4, 1825- 1917 1906 Calcuttamarker
Rashbihari Ghosh December 23, 1845- 1921 1907 Suratmarker
Rashbihari Ghosh December 23, 1845- 1921 1908 Madrasmarker
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya December 25, 1861- 1946 1909 Lahoremarker
Sir William Wedderburn 1838- 1918 1910 Allahabadmarker
Pandit Bishan Narayan Dar 1864- 1916 1911 Calcuttamarker
Rao Bahadur Raghunath Narasinha Mudholkar 1857- 1921 1912 Bankipur
Nawab Syed Muhammad Bahadur ?- 1919 1913 Karachimarker
Bhupendra Nath Bose 1859- 1924 1914 Madrasmarker
Lord Satyendra Prasanna Sinha March 1863- 1928 1915 Mumbaimarker
Ambica Charan Mazumdar 1850- 1922 1916 Lucknowmarker
Annie Besant October 1, 1847- 1933 1917 Calcuttamarker
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya December 25, 1861- 1946 1918 Delhimarker
Syed Hasan Imam August 31, 1871- 1933 1918 Mumbaimarker (Special Session)
Pandit Motilal Nehru May 6, 1861- February 6, 1931 1919 Amritsarmarker
Lala Lajpat Rai January 28, 1865- November 17, 1928 1920 Calcuttamarker (Special Session)
C. Vijayaraghavachariar 1852- April 19, 1944 1920 Nagpurmarker
Hakim Ajmal Khan 1863- December 29, 1927 1921 Ahmedabadmarker
Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das November 5, 1870- June 16, 1925 1922 Gayamarker
Maulana Mohammad Ali December 10, 1878- January 4, 1931 1923 Kakinadamarker
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 1888- February 22, 1958 1923 Delhimarker (Special Session)
Mahatma Gandhi October 2, 1869- January 30, 1948 1924 Belgaummarker
Sarojini Naidu February 13, 1879- March 2, 1949 1925 Kanpurmarker
S. Srinivasa Iyengar September 11, 1874- May 19, 1941 1926 Gauhatimarker
Dr. M A Ansari December 25, 1880- May 10, 1936 1927 Madrasmarker
Pandit Motilal Nehru May 6, 1861- February 6, 1931 1928 Calcuttamarker
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru November 14, 1889- May 27, 1964 1929 & 30 Lahoremarker
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel October 31, 1875- December 15, 1950 1931 Karachimarker
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya December 25, 1861- 1946 1932 Delhimarker
Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya December 25, 1861- 1946 1933 Calcuttamarker
Nellie Sengupta 1886- 1973 1933 Calcuttamarker
Dr. Rajendra Prasad December 3, 1884- February 28, 1963 1934 & 35 Mumbaimarker
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru November 14, 1889- May 27, 1964 1936 Lucknowmarker
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru November 14, 1889- May 27, 1964 1936& 37 Faizpurmarker
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose January 23, 1897- August 18, 1945? 1938 Haripura
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose January 23, 1897- August 18, 1945? 1939 Tripuri(Jabalpurmarker)
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad 1888- February 22, 1958 1940-46 Ramgarhmarker
Acharya J.B. Kripalani 1888- March 19, 1982 1947 Delhimarker
Dr Pattabhi Sitaraimayya December 24, 1880- December 17, 1959 1948 & 49 Jaipurmarker
Purushottam Das Tandon August 1, 1882- July 1, 1961 1950 Nasikmarker
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru November 14, 1889- May 27, 1964 1951 & 52 Delhimarker
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru November 14, 1889- May 27, 1964 1953 Hyderabadmarker
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru November 14, 1889- May 27, 1964 1954 Calcuttamarker
U N Dhebar September 21, 1905- 1977 1955 Avadimarker
U N Dhebar September 21, 1905- 1977 1956 Amritsarmarker
U N Dhebar September 21, 1905- 1977 1957 Indoremarker
U N Dhebar September 21, 1905- 1977 1958 Gauhatimarker
U N Dhebar September 21, 1905- 1977 1959 Nagpurmarker
Indira Gandhi November 19, 1917- October 31, 1984 1959 Delhimarker
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy May 19, 1913- June 1, 1996 1960 Bangaloremarker
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy May 19, 1913- June 1, 1996 1961 Bhavnagarmarker
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy May 19, 1913- June 1, 1996 1962 & 63 Patnamarker
K. Kamaraj July 15, 1903- October 2, 1975 1964 Bhubaneswarmarker
K. Kamaraj July 15, 1903- October 2, 1975 1965 Durgapur
K. Kamaraj July 15, 1903- October 2, 1975 1966 & 67 Jaipurmarker
S. Nijalingappa December 10, 1902- August 9, 2000 1968 Hyderabadmarker
S. Nijalingappa December 10, 1902- August 9, 2000 1969 Faridabadmarker
Jagjivan Ram April 5, 1908- July 6, 1986 1970 & 71 Mumbaimarker
Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma August 19, 1918- December 26, 1999 1972- 74 Calcuttamarker
Dev Kant Baruah February 22, 1914- 1996 1975- 77 Chandigarhmarker
Indira Gandhi November 19, 1917- October 31, 1984 1978- 83 Delhimarker
Indira Gandhi November 19, 1917- October 31, 1984 1983 -84 Calcuttamarker
Rajiv Gandhi August 20, 1944- May 21, 1991 1985 -91 Mumbaimarker
P. V. Narasimha Rao June 28, 1921- December 23, 2004 1992 -96 Tirupatimarker
Sitaram Kesri November 1919- October 24, 2000 1997 -98 Kolkatamarker
Sonia Gandhi December 9, 1946- 1998-present Kolkatamarker

2009 general elections

The Indian National Congress-led coalition United Progressive Alliance (UPA), headed by Ms. Sonia Gandhi, won the plurality of votes in the general elections of 2009 and formed the government under the leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh.

See also



  • Bipan Chandra, Amales Tripathi, Barun De. Freedom Struggle. India: National Book Struggle. ISBN 81-237-0249-X.

Further reading

  • The Indian National Congress: An Historical Sketch, by Frederick Marion De Mello. Published by H. Milford, Oxford university press, 1934.
  • The Indian National Congress, by Hemendra Nath Das Gupta. Published by J. K. Das Gupta, 1946.
  • Indian National Congress: A Descriptive Bibliography of India's Struggle for Freedom, by Jagdish Saran Sharma. Published by S. Chand, 1959.
  • Social Factors in the Birth and Growth of the Indian National Congress Movement, by Ramparkash Dua. Published by S. Chand, 1967.
  • Split in a Predominant Party: The Indian National Congress in 1969, by Mahendra Prasad Singh. Abhinav Publications, 1981. ISBN 8170171407.
  • Concise History of the Indian National Congress, 1885-1947, by B. N. Pande, Nisith Ranjan Ray, Ravinder Kumar, Manmath Nath Das. Published by Vikas Pub. House, 1985. ISBN 0706930207.
  • The Indian National Congress: An Analytical Biography, by Om P. Gautam. Published by B.R. Pub. Corp., 1985.
  • A Century of Indian National Congress, 1885-1985, by Pran Nath Chopra, Ram Gopal, Moti Lal Bhargava. Published by Agam Prakashan, 1986.
  • The Congress Ideology and Programme, 1920-1985, by Pitambar Datt Kaushik . Published by Gitanjali Pub. House, 1986. ISBN 8185060169.
  • Struggling and Ruling: The Indian National Congress, 1885-1985, by Jim Masselos. Published by Sterling Publishers, 1987.
  • The Encyclopedia of Indian National Congress, by A. Moin Zaidi, Shaheda Gufran Zaidi, Indian Institute of Applied Political Research. Published by S.Chand, 1987.
  • Indian National Congress: A Reconstruction, by Iqbal Singh, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Published by Riverdale Company, 1988. ISBN 0913215325.
  • INC, the Glorious Tradition, by A. Moin Zaidi, Indian National Congress. AICC. Published by Indian Institute of Applied Political Research, 1989.
  • Indian National Congress: A Select Bibliography, by Manikrao Hodlya Gavit, Attar Chand. Published by U.D.H. Pub. House, 1989. ISBN 8185044058.
  • The Story of Congress Pilgrimage: 1885-1985, by A. Moin Zaidi, Indian National Congress. Published by Indian Institute of Applied Political Research, 1990. ISBN 8185355460. (7 vols)
  • Indian National Congress in England, by Harish P. Kaushik. Published by Friends Publications, 1991.
  • Women in Indian National Congress, 1921-1931, by Rajan Mahan. Published by Rawat Publications, 1999.
  • History of Indian National Congress, 1885-2002, by Deep Chand Bandhu. Published by Kalpaz Publications, 2003. ISBN 8178350904.

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