The Indian National Congress (pronunciation (help·info)) (INC, often called the Congress Party or simply Congress) is a broadly based political party in India. Founded in 1885, it was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa.[a] From the late 19th century, and especially after 1920, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, Congress became the principal leader of the Indian independence movement. Congress led India to independence from Great Britain,[b][c] and powerfully influenced other anti-colonial nationalist movements in the British Empire.[d]
Congress is a secular party whose social democratic platform is generally considered to be on the centre-left of Indian politics. Congress' social policy is based upon the Gandhian principle of Sarvodaya—the lifting up of all sections of society—which involves the improvement of the lives of economically underprivileged and socially marginalised people. The party primarily endorses social democracy—seeking to balance individual liberty and social justice, welfare and secularism—asserting the right to be free from religious rule and teachings. Its constitution states democractic socialism to be its ideal.
After India's independence in 1947, Congress formed the central government of India, and many regional state governments. Congress became India's dominant political party; as of 2015, in the 15 general elections since independence, it has won an outright majority on six occasions and has led the ruling coalition a further four times, heading the central government for 49 years. There have been seven Congress Prime Ministers, the first being Jawaharlal Nehru (1947–1964), and the most recent Manmohan Singh (2004–2014). Although it did not fare well in the last general elections in India in 2014, it remains one of two major, nationwide, political parties in India, along with the right-wing, Hindu nationalist, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).[e] In the 2014 general election, Congress had its poorest post-independence general election performance, winning only 44 seats of the 543-member Lok Sabha.
From 2004 to 2014, United Progressive Alliance, a coalition of Congress with several regional parties, formed the Indian government led by Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister as the head of the coalition government. The leader of the party during the period, Sonia Gandhi has served the longest term as the president of the party. As of December 2018, the party is in power in six legislative assemblies: Karnataka (in an alliance with the JD(S)), Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and the union territory of Puducherry (in an alliance with the DMK).
Indian National Congress
|Parliamentary Chairperson||Sonia Gandhi|
|Lok Sabha leader||Mallikarjun Kharge|
|Rajya Sabha leader||Ghulam Nabi Azad (Leader of the Opposition)|
|Former Prime Minister(s)|
|Founded||28 December 1885|
|Headquarters||24, Akbar Road, New Delhi 110001|
|Student wing||National Students Union of India|
|Youth wing||Indian Youth Congress|
|Women's wing||All India Mahila Congress|
|Labour wing||Indian National Trade Union Congress|
|Minority wing||Minority Congress|
|Membership||c. 20–40 million|
|ECI Status||National Party|
|Alliance||United Progressive Alliance (UPA)|
|Seats in Lok Sabha|
52 / 545(currently 541 members + 1 Speaker)
|Seats in Rajya Sabha|
50 / 245(currently '244' members)
|Number of states and union territories in government|
6 / 31
The Indian National Congress conducted its first session in Bombay from 28–31 December 1885 at the initiative of retired Civil Service officer Allan Octavian Hume. In 1883, Hume had outlined his idea for a body representing Indian interests in an open letter to graduates of the University of Calcutta. Its aim was to obtain a greater share in government for educated Indians, and to create a platform for civic and political dialogue between them and the British Raj. Hume took the initiative, and in March 1885 a notice convening the first meeting of the Indian National Union to be held in Poona the following December was issued. Due to a cholera outbreak there, it was moved to Bombay.
Hume organised the first meeting in Bombay with the approval of the Viceroy Lord Dufferin. Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee was the first president of Congress; the first session was attended by 72 delegates, representing each province of India. Notable representatives included Scottish ICS officer William Wedderburn, Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozeshah Mehta of the Bombay Presidency Association, Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi of the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, social reformer and newspaper editor Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Justice K. T. Telang, N. G. Chandavarkar, Dinshaw Wacha, Behramji Malabari, journalist and activist Gooty Kesava Pillai, and P. Rangaiah Naidu of the Madras Mahajana Sabha. This small elite group, unrepresentative of the Indian masses at the time, functioned more as a stage for elite Indian ambitions than a political party for the first decade of its existence.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Congress' demands became more radical in the face of constant opposition from the British government, and the party decided to advocate in favour of the independence movement because it would allow a new political system in which Congress could be a major party. By 1905, a division opened between the moderates led by Gokhale, who downplayed public agitation, and the new extremists who advocated agitation, and regarded the pursuit of social reform as a distraction from nationalism. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who tried to mobilise Hindu Indians by appealing to an explicitly Hindu political identity displayed in the annual public Ganapati festivals he inaugurated in western India, was prominent among the extremists.
Congress included a number of prominent political figures. Dadabhai Naoroji, a member of the sister Indian National Association, was elected president of the party in 1886 and was the first Indian Member of Parliament in the British House of Commons (1892–1895). Congress also included Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Jinnah was a member of the moderate group in the Congress, favouring Hindu–Muslim unity in achieving self-government. Later he became the leader of the Muslim League and instrumental in the creation of Pakistan. Congress was transformed into a mass movement by Surendranath Banerjee during the partition of Bengal in 1905, and the resultant Swadeshi movement.
Mahatma Gandhi returned from South Africa in 1915. With the help of the moderate group led by Ghokhale, Gandhi became president of Congress. After the First World War, the party became associated with Gandhi, who remained its unofficial spiritual leader and icon. He formed an alliance with the Khilafat Movement in 1920 to fight for preservation of the Ottoman Caliphate, and rights for Indians using civil disobedience or satyagraha as the tool for agitation. In 1923, after the deaths of policemen at Chauri Chaura, Gandhi suspended the agitation. In protest, a number of leaders, Chittaranjan Das, Annie Besant, and Motilal Nehru, resigned to set up the Swaraj Party. The Khilafat movement collapsed and Congress was split.
The rise of Gandhi's popularity and his satyagraha art of revolution led to support from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Khan Mohammad Abbas Khan, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Chakravarti Rajgopalachari, Dr. Anugraha Narayan Sinha, Jayaprakash Narayan, Jivatram Kripalani, and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. As a result of prevailing nationalism, Gandhi's popularity, and the party's attempts at eradicating caste differences, untouchability, poverty, and religious and ethnic divisions, Congress became a forceful and dominant group. Although its members were predominantly Hindu, it had members from other religions, economic classes, and ethnic and linguistic groups.
At the Congress 1929 Lahore session under the presidency of Jawaharlal Nehru, Purna Swaraj (complete independence) was declared as the party's goal, declaring 26 January 1930 as "Purna Swaraj Diwas" (Independence Day). The same year, Srinivas Iyenger was expelled from the party for demanding full independence, not just home rule as demanded by Gandhi.
After the passage of the Government of India Act of 1935, provincial elections were held in India in the winter of 1936–37 in eleven provinces: Madras, Central Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, United Provinces, Bombay Presidency, Assam, NWFP, Bengal, Punjab, and Sindh. After contesting these elections, the Indian National Congress gained power in eight of them except Bengal, Punjab, and Sindh. The All-India Muslim League failed to form a government in any province. Congress ministries resigned in October and November 1939 in protest against Viceroy Lord Linlithgow's declaration that India was a belligerent in the Second World War without consulting the Indian people.
In 1939, Subhas Chandra Bose, the elected president in both 1938 and 1939, resigned from Congress over the selection of the working committee. The party was not the sole representative of the Indian polity, other parties included the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, and the All India Forward Bloc. The party was an umbrella organisation, sheltering radical socialists, traditionalists, and Hindu and Muslim conservatives. Gandhi expelled all the socialist groupings, including the Congress Socialist Party, the Krishak Praja Party, and the Swarajya Party, along with Subhas Chandra Bose, in 1939.
In 1946, the British tried the Indian soldiers who had fought alongside the Japanese during World War II in the INA trials. In response, Congress helped form the INA Defence Committee, which assembled a legal team to defend the case of the soldiers of the Azad Hind government. The team included several famous lawyers, including Bhulabhai Desai, Asaf Ali, and Jawaharlal Nehru. The same year, Congress members initially supported the sailors who led the Royal Indian Navy mutiny, but they withdrew support at a critical juncture and the mutiny failed.
After Indian independence in 1947, the Indian National Congress became the dominant political party in the country. In 1952, in the first general election held after Independence, the party swept to power in the national parliament and most state legislatures. It held power nationally until 1977, when it was defeated by the Janata coalition. It returned to power in 1980 and ruled until 1989, when it was once again defeated. The party formed the government in 1991 at the head of a coalition, as well as in 2004 and 2009, when it led the United Progressive Alliance. During this period the Congress remained centre-left in its social policies while steadily shifting from a socialist to a neoliberal economic outlook. The Party's rivals at state level have been national parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM), and various regional parties, such as the Telugu Desam Party, Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party.
A post-partition successor to the party survived as the Pakistan National Congress, a party which represented the rights of religious minorities in the state. The party's support was strongest in the Bengali-speaking province of East Pakistan. After the Bangladeshi War of Independence, it became known as the Bangladeshi National Congress, but was dissolved in 1975 by the government.
From 1951 until his death in 1964, Jawaharlal Nehru was the paramount leader of the party. Congress gained power in landslide victories in the general elections of 1951–52, 1957, and 1962. During his tenure, Nehru implemented policies based on import substitution industrialisation, and advocated a mixed economy where the government-controlled public sector co-existed with the private sector. He believed the establishment of basic and heavy industries was fundamental to the development and modernisation of the Indian economy. The Nehru government directed investment primarily into key public sector industries—steel, iron, coal, and power—promoting their development with subsidies and protectionist policies. Nehru embraced secularism, socialistic economic practices based on state-driven industrialisation, and a non-aligned and non-confrontational foreign policy that became typical of the modern Congress Party. The policy of non-alignment during the Cold War meant Nehru received financial and technical support from both the Eastern and Western Blocs to build India's industrial base from nothing.
During his period in office, there were four known assassination attempts on Nehru. The first attempt on his life was during partition in 1947 while he was visiting the North-West Frontier Province in a car. The second was by a knife-wielding rickshaw-puller in Maharashtra in 1955. A third attempt happened in Bombay in 1956. The fourth was a failed bombing attempt on railway tracks in Maharashtra in 1961. Despite threats to his life, Nehru despised having excess security personnel around him and did not like his movements to disrupt traffic.
In 1964, Nehru died because of an aortic dissection, raising questions about the party's future. After Nehru's death in 1964, the congress party started to face internal crisis. There were differences among the top leadership of the Congress regarding the future of the party which makes lot of issues within the party. This resulted in formation of many congress named parties in India Kerela Congress, Orissa Jane Congress, Bangla Congress, Utkal Congress, Bharatiya Kranti Dal, etc.
K. Kamaraj became the president of the All India Congress Committee in 1963 during the last year of Nehru's life. Prior to that, he had been the chief minister of Madras state for nine years. Kamraj had also been a member of "the syndicate", a group of right wing leaders within Congress.In 1963 the Congress lost popularity following the defeat in the Indo-Chinese war of 1962.To revitalize the party, Kamraj proposed the Kamaraj Plan to Nehru that encouraged six Congress chief ministers (including himself) and six senior cabinet ministers to resign to take up party work. After Nehru's death in May 1964, Kamaraj was widely credited as the "kingmaker" in Indian politics for ensuring the victory of Lal Bahadur Shastri over Morarji Desai as the successor of Nehru. The Congress was then split into two parties : Indian National Congress(O) and Indian National Congress (I) as a left-wing/right-wing division. Indira Gandhi wanted to use a populist agenda in order to mobilize popular support for the party while Kamraj and Desai stood for a more right-wing agenda.
As prime minister, Shastri retained many members of Nehru's Council of Ministers; T. T. Krishnamachari was retained as Finance Minister of India, as was Defence Minister Yashwantrao Chavan. Shastri appointed Swaran Singh to succeed him as External Affairs Minister. Shashtri appointed Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru's daughter and former party president, Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Gulzarilal Nanda continued as the Minister of Home Affairs. As Prime Minister, Shastri continued Nehru's policy of non-alignment, but built closer relations with the Soviet Union. In the aftermath of the Sino-Indian War of 1962, and the formation of military ties between China and Pakistan, Shastri's government expanded the defence budget of India's armed forces. He also promoted the White Revolution—a national campaign to increase the production and supply of milk by creating the National Dairy Development Board. The Madras anti-Hindi agitation of 1965 occurred during Shastri's tenure.
Shastri became a national hero following victory in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. His slogan, "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" ("Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer"), became very popular during the war. On 11 January 1966, a day after signing the Tashkent Declaration, Shastri died in Tashkent, reportedly of a heart attack; but the circumstances of his death remain mysterious. Indian National Congress (O) was led first by Kamraj and later by Morarji Desai. The "O" stands for organisation/Old Congress. Some people used to it the Original Congress. .
After Shastri's death, Congress elected Indira Gandhi as leader over Morarji Desai. Once again, politician K. Kamaraj was instrumental in achieving this result. In 1967, following a poor performance in the general election, Indira Gandhi started moving towards the political left. In mid-1969, she was involved in a dispute with senior party leaders on a number of issues. The two major issues were Gandhi supporting the independent candidate, V. V. Giri, rather than the official Congress party candidate, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, for the vacant post of the President of India. The second issue was Mrs. Gandhi's abrupt nationalization of the 14 biggest banks in India, which resulted in the resignation of the finance minister, Morarji Desai. Later in the year, the Congress party president, S. Nijalingappa, expelled her from the party for indiscipline. Mrs. Gandhi as a counter-move launched her own faction of the INC. Mrs. Gandhi's faction, called Congress (R), was supported by most of the Congress MPs while the original party had the support of only 65 MPs. This was also known as Congress(I) was led by Indira Gandhi. The "I" in the name of congress stood for Indira. It was also known as INC(R) R stands for Requisition. It soon came to be known as the New Congress. In the All India Congress Committee, 446 of its 705 members walked over to Indira's side. This created a belief among Indians that Indira's Congress was the Real Congress (INC-R). After the separation of the two parties, there was also a dispute about the party logo. The "Old Congress" retained the party symbol of a pair of bullocks carrying a yoke while Indira's breakaway faction were given a new symbol of a cow with suckling calf by the Election Commission as the party election symbol. The split occurred when, in 1969, a united opposition under the banner of Samyukt Vidhayak Dal, won control over several states in the Hindi Belt.
In the mid-term parliamentary elections held in 1971, the Gandhi-led Congress (R) Party won a landslide victory on a platform of progressive policies such as the elimination of poverty (Garibi Hatao). The policies of the Congress (R) Party under Gandhi before the 1971 elections included proposals to abolish the Privy Purse to former rulers of the Princely states, and the 1969 nationalisation of India's 14 largest banks.
The New Congress Party's popular support began to wane in the mid-1970s. From 1975, Gandhi's government grew increasingly more authoritarian and unrest among the opposition grew. On 12 June 1975, the High Court of Allahabad declared Indira Gandhi's election to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's parliament, void on the grounds of electoral malpractice. However, Gandhi rejected calls to resign and announced plans to appeal to the Supreme Court. She moved to restore order by ordering the arrest of most of the opposition participating in the unrest. In response to increasing disorder and lawlessness, Gandhi's cabinet and government recommended that President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declare a State of Emergency, which he did on 25 June 1975 based on the provisions of Article 352 of the Constitution.
During the nineteen-month emergency, widespread oppression and abuse of power by Gandhi's unelected younger son and political heir Sanjay Gandhi and his close associates occurred. This period of oppression ended on 23 January 1977, when Gandhi released all political prisoners and called fresh elections for the Lok Sabha to be held in March. The Emergency officially ended on 23 March 1977. In that month's parliamentary elections, the opposition Janata Party won a landslide victory over Congress, winning 295 seats in the Lok Sabha against Congress' 153. Gandhi lost her seat to her Janata opponent Raj Narain. On 2 January 1978, she and her followers seceded and formed a new opposition party, popularly called Congress (I)—the I signifying Indira. During the next year, her new party attracted enough members of the legislature to become the official opposition.
In November 1978, Gandhi regained a parliamentary seat. In January 1980, following a landslide victory for Congress (I), she was again elected prime minister. The national election commission declared Congress (I) to be the real Indian National Congress for the 1984 general election.However, the designation I was only dropped in 1996.
During Gandhi's new term as prime minister, her youngest son Sanjay died in an aeroplane crash in June 1980. This led her to encourage her elder son Rajiv, who was working as a pilot, to enter politics. Gradually, Indira Gandhi's politics and outlook grew more authoritarian and autocratic, and she became the central figure within the Congress Party. As prime minister, she became known for her political ruthlessness and unprecedented centralization of power.
Gandhi's term as prime minister also saw increasing turmoil in Punjab, with demands for Sikh autonomy by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his militant followers. In 1983, they headquartered themselves in the Golden Temple in Amritsar and started accumulating weapons. In June 1984, after several futile negotiations, Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to enter the Golden Temple to establish control over the complex and remove Bhindranwale and his armed followers. This event is known as Operation Blue Star.
On 31 October 1984, two of Gandhi's bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, shot her with their service weapons in the garden of the prime minister's residence in response to her authorisation of Operation Blue Star. Gandhi was due to be interviewed by British actor Peter Ustinov, who was filming a documentary for Irish television. Her assassination prompted the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, during which more than 3,000 people were killed.
In 1984, Indira Gandhi's son Rajiv Gandhi became nominal head of Congress, and went on to become prime minister upon her assassination. In December, he led Congress to a landslide victory, where it secured 401 seats in the legislature. His administration took measures to reform the government bureaucracy and liberalise the country's economy. Rajiv Gandhi's attempts to discourage separatist movements in Punjab and Kashmir backfired. After his government became embroiled in several financial scandals, his leadership became increasingly ineffectual. Gandhi was regarded as a non-abrasive person who consulted other party members and refrained from hasty decisions. The Bofors scandal damaged his reputation as an honest politician, but he was posthumously cleared of bribery allegations in 2004. On 21 May 1991, Gandhi was killed by a bomb concealed in a basket of flowers carried by a woman associated with the Tamil Tigers. He was campaigning in Tamil Nadu for upcoming parliamentary elections. In 1998, an Indian court convicted 26 people in the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi. The conspirators, who consisted of Tamil militants from Sri Lanka and their Indian allies, had sought revenge against Gandhi because the Indian troops he sent to Sri Lanka in 1987 to help enforce a peace accord there had fought with Tamil separatist guerrillas.
Rajiv Gandhi was succeeded as party leader by P. V. Narasimha Rao, who was elected prime minister in June 1991. His rise to the prime ministership was politically significant because he was the first holder of the office from South India. His administration oversaw major economic change and experienced several home incidents that affected India's national security. Rao, who held the Industries portfolio, was personally responsible for the dismantling of the Licence Raj, which came under the purview of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He is often called the "father of Indian economic reforms".
Future prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh continued the economic reform policies begun by Rao's government. Rao accelerated the dismantling of the Licence Raj, reversing the socialist policies of previous governments. He employed Manmohan Singh as his finance minister to begin a historic economic change. With Rao's mandate, Singh launched India's globalisation reforms that involved implementing International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies to prevent India's impending economic collapse. Rao was also referred to as Chanakya for his ability to push tough economic and political legislation through the parliament while he headed a minority government.
By 1996, the party's image was suffering from allegations of corruption, and in elections that year, Congress was reduced to 140 seats, its lowest number in the Lok Sabha to that point. Rao later resigned as prime minister and, in September, as party president. He was succeeded as president by Sitaram Kesri, the party's first non-Brahmin leader. During the tenure of both Rao and Kesri, the two leaders conducted internal elections to the Congress working committees and their own posts as party presidents.
The 1998 general election saw Congress win 141 seats in the Lok Sabha, its lowest tally until then. To boost its popularity and improve its performance in the forthcoming election, Congress leaders urged Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi's widow, to assume leadership of the party. She had previously declined offers to become actively involved in party affairs, and had stayed away from politics. After her election as party leader, a section of the party that objected to the choice because of her Italian ethnicity broke away and formed the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), led by Sharad Pawar. The breakaway faction commanded strong support in the state of Maharashtra and limited support elsewhere. The remainder continued to be known as the Indian National Congress.
Sonia Gandhi struggled to revive the party in her early years as its president; she was under continuous scrutiny for her foreign birth and lack of political acumen. In the snap elections called by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 1999, Congress' tally further plummeted to just 114 seats. Although the leadership structure was unaltered as the party campaigned strongly in the assembly elections that followed, Gandhi began to make such strategic changes as abandoning the party's 1998 Pachmarhi resolution of ekla chalo, or "go it alone" policy, and formed alliances with other like-minded parties. In the intervening years, the party was successful at various legislative assembly elections; at one point, Congress ruled 15 states. For the 2004 general election, Congress forged alliances with regional parties including the NCP and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. The party's campaign emphasised social inclusion and the welfare of the common masses—an ideology that Gandhi herself endorsed for Congress during her presidency—with slogans such as Congress ka haath, aam aadmi ke saath ("Congress hand in hand with the common man"), contrasting with the NDA's "India Shining" campaign. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won 222 seats in the new parliament, defeating the NDA by a substantial margin. With the subsequent support of the communist front, Congress won a majority and formed a new government. Despite massive support from within the party, Gandhi declined the post of prime minister, choosing to appoint Manmohan Singh instead. She remained as party president and headed the National Advisory Council (NAC).
During its first term in office, the UPA government passed several social reform bills. These included an employment guarantee bill, the Right to Information Act, and a right to education act. The NAC, as well as the Left Front that supported the government from the outside, were widely seen as being the driving force behind such legislation. The Left Front withdrew its support of the government over disagreements about the U.S.–India Civil Nuclear Agreement. Despite the effective loss of 62 seats in parliament, the government survived the trust vote that followed. In the Lok Sabha elections held soon after, Congress won 207 seats, the highest tally of any party since 1991. The UPA as a whole won 262, enabling it to form a government for the second time. The social welfare policies of the first UPA government, and the perceived divisiveness of the BJP, are broadly credited with the victory.
By the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the party had lost much of its popular support, mainly because of several years of poor economic conditions in the country, and growing discontent over a series of corruption allegations involving government officials, including the 2G spectrum case and the Indian coal allocation scam. Congress won only 44 seats, which was its worst-ever performance in a national election and brought into question whether it would continue to be identified as an officially recognized party. Gandhi retired as party president in December 2017, having served for a record nineteen years. She was succeeded by her son Rahul Gandhi.
As of 2014, the election symbol of Congress, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is an image of a right hand with its palm facing front and its fingers pressed together; this is usually shown in the centre of a tricolor flag. The hand symbol was first used by Indira Gandhi when she split from the Congress (R) faction following the 1977 elections and created the New Congress (I).
The symbol of the original Congress during elections held between 1952 and 1971 was an image of two bullocks with a plough. The symbol of Indira's Congress (R) during the 1971–1977 period was a cow with a suckling calf.
|Year||Legislature||Leader||Seats won||Change in # of seats||Percentage of vote||Vote swing||Outcome|
|1934||5th Central Legislative Assembly||Bhulabhai Desai||
42 / 147
|1945||6th Central Legislative Assembly||Sarat Chandra Bose||
59 / 102
|17||Interim Government of India (1946–1947)|
|1951||1st Lok Sabha||Jawaharlal Nehru||
364 / 489
|1957||2nd Lok Sabha||
371 / 494
|1962||3rd Lok Sabha||
361 / 494
|1967||4th Lok Sabha||Indira Gandhi||
283 / 520
|1971||5th Lok Sabha||
352 / 518
|1977||6th Lok Sabha||
153 / 542
|1980||7th Lok Sabha||
351 / 542
|1984||8th Lok Sabha||Rajiv Gandhi||
415 / 533
|1989||9th Lok Sabha||
197 / 545
|1991||10th Lok Sabha||P.V. Narasimha Rao||
244 / 545
|1996||11th Lok Sabha||
140 / 545
|104||28.80%||7.46%||Opposition, later outside support for UF|
|1998||12th Lok Sabha||Sitaram Kesri||
141 / 545
|1999||13th Lok Sabha||Sonia Gandhi||
114 / 545
|2004||14th Lok Sabha||Manmohan Singh||
145 / 543
|2009||15th Lok Sabha||
206 / 543
|2014||16th Lok Sabha||Rahul Gandhi||
44 / 543
|2019||17th Lok Sabha||
52 / 542
Congress was structured in a hierarchical manner by Mahatma Gandhi when he took charge as the president of the party in 1921. The party was a "broad church" during the independence movement; however, Jawarlal Nehru's descendants have turned the party into a "family firm" with hereditary succession. At present, the president and the All India Congress Committee (AICC) are elected by delegates from state and district parties at an annual national conference; in every Indian state and union territory—or pradesh—there is a Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), which is the state-level 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 twenty members, most of whom are appointed by the party president, the leader of the state party, who is chosen by the national president. Those elected as members of the states' legislative assemblies form the Congress Legislature Parties in the various state assemblies; their chairperson is usually the party's nominee for Chief Ministership. The party is also organised into various committees, and sections; it publishes a daily newspaper, the National Herald. Despite being a party with a structure, Congress under Indira Gandhi did not hold any organizational elections after 1972.
The AICC is composed of delegates sent from the PCCs. The delegates elect Congress committees, including the Congress Working Committee, consisting of senior party leaders and office bearers. The AICC takes all important executive and political decisions. Since Indira Gandhi formed Congress (I) in 1978, the President of the Indian National Congress has effectively been: the party's national leader, head of the organisation, head of the Working Committee and all chief Congress committees, chief spokesman, and Congress' choice for Prime Minister of India. Constitutionally, the president is elected by the PCCs and members of the AICC; however, this procedure has often been by-passed by the Working Committee, which has elected its own candidate.
The Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) consists of elected MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. There is also a Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader in each state. The CLP consists of all Congress Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in each state. In cases of states where the Congress is single-handedly ruling the government, the CLP leader is the Chief Minister. Other directly affiliated groups include: the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the Indian Youth Congress – the party's youth wing, the Indian National Trade Union Congress, Mahila Congress, its women's division, and Congress Seva Dal—its voluntary organisation.
Dynasticism is fairly common in many political parties in India, including the Congress party. Six members of the Nehru-Gandhi family have been presidents of the party. The party started turning into a family firm controlled by Indira Gandhi's family during the emergency. This was characterized by servility and sycophancy towards the family which later turned into hereditary succession of Gandhi family members to power. Since the formation of Congress(I) by Indira Gandhi in 1978, the party president has been from her family except for the period between 1991 and 1998. In the last three elections to the Lok Sabha combined, 37% of Congress party MPs had family members precede them in politics.
Throughout much of the Cold War period, Congress supported a foreign policy of nonalignment that called for India to form ties with both the Western and Eastern Blocs, but to avoid formal alliances with either. support for Pakistan led the party to endorse a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union in 1971. In 2004, when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance came to power, its chairperson Sonia Gandhi unexpectedly relinquished the premiership to Manmohan Singh. This Singh-led "UPA I" government executed several key pieces of legislation and projects, including the Rural Health Mission, Unique Identification Authority, the Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, and the Right to Information Act.
The history of economic policy of Congress-led governments can be divided into two periods. The first period lasted from independence, in 1947, to 1991 and put great emphasis on the public sector. The second period began with economic liberalization in 1991.
At the beginning of the first period, the Congress prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru implemented policies based on import substitution industrialization and advocated a mixed economy where the government-controlled public sector would co-exist with the private sector. He believed that the establishment of basic and heavy industry was fundamental to the development and modernisation of the Indian economy. The government, therefore, directed investment primarily into key public-sector industries—steel, iron, coal, and power—promoting their development with subsidies and protectionist policies. This period was called the Licence Raj, or Permit Raj, which was the elaborate system of licences, regulations, and accompanying red tape that were required to set up and run businesses in India between 1947 and 1990. The Licence Raj was a result of Nehru and his successors' desire to have a planned economy where all aspects of the economy were controlled by the state, and licences were given to a select few. Up to 80 government agencies had to be satisfied before private companies could produce something; and, if the licence were granted, the government would regulate production. The licence raj system continued under Indira Gandhi.In addition, many key sectors such as banking, steel coal, and oil were nationalized. Under Rajiv Gandhi, small steps were taken to liberalize the economy.
In 1991, the new Congress-party government, led by P. V. Narasimha Rao, initiated reforms to avert the impending 1991 economic crisis. The reforms progressed furthest in opening up areas to foreign investment, reforming capital markets, deregulating domestic business, and reforming the trade regime. The goals of Rao's government were to reduce the fiscal deficit, privatize the public sector, and increase investment in infrastructure. Trade reforms and changes in the regulation of foreign direct investment were introduced in order to open India to foreign trade while stabilising external loans. Rao chose Manmohan Singh for the job. Singh, an acclaimed economist and former chairman of the Resrve Bank, played a central role in implementing these reforms.
In 2004, Singh became prime minister of the Congress-led UPA government. Singh remained prime minister after the UPA won the 2009 general elections. The UPA government introduced policies aimed at reforming the banking and financial sectors, as well as public sector companies. It also introduced policies aimed at relieving farmers of their debt. In 2005, Singh's government introduced the value added tax, replacing the sales tax. India was able to resist the worst effects of the global Economic crisis of 2008. Singh's government continued the Golden Quadrilateral, the Indian highway modernisation program that was initiated by Vajpayee's government.
At present, Congress endorses a mixed economy in which the private sector and the state both direct the economy, which has characteristics of both market and planned economies. Congress advocates import substitution industrialisation—the replacement of foreign imports with domestic products. Congress believes the Indian economy should be liberalised to increase the pace of development.
In 2005, the Congress-led government started the National Rural Health Mission, which employed about 500,000 community health workers. It was praised by economist Jeffrey Sachs. In 2006, it implemented a proposal to reserve 27% of seats in the All India Institute of Medical Studies (AIIMS), the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), and other central higher education institutions, for Other Backward Classes, which led to the 2006 Indian anti-reservation protests. The Singh government also continued the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme, which includes the introduction and improvement of mid-day school meals and the opening of new schools throughout India, especially in rural areas, to fight illiteracy. During Manmohan Singh's prime-ministership, eight Institutes of Technology were opened in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Orissa, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh.
Congress has strengthened anti-terrorism laws with amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was created by the UPA government soon after the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in response to the need for a central agency to combat terrorism. The Unique Identification Authority of India was established in February 2009 to implement the proposed Multipurpose National Identity Card, with the objective of increasing national security.
Congress has continued the foreign policy started by P. V. Narasimha Rao. This includes the peace process with Pakistan, and the exchange of high-level visits by leaders from both countries. The party has tried to end the border dispute with the People's Republic of China through negotiations. Relations with Afghanistan have also been a concern for Congress. During Afghan President Hamid Karzai's visit to New Delhi in August 2008, Manmohan Singh increased the aid package to Afghanistan for the development of schools, health clinics, infrastructure, and defence. India is now one of the single largest aid donors to Afghanistan.
When in power between 2004 and 2014, Congress worked on India's relationship with the United States. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the US in July 2005 to negotiate an India–United States Civil Nuclear Agreement. US president George W. Bush visited India in March 2006; during this visit, a nuclear agreement that would give India access to nuclear fuel and technology in exchange for the IAEA inspection of its civil nuclear reactors was proposed. Over two years of negotiations, followed by approval from the IAEA, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the United States Congress, the agreement was signed on 10 October 2008.
Congress' policy has been to cultivate friendly relations with Japan as well as European Union countries including the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Diplomatic relations with Iran have continued, and negotiations over the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline have taken place. In April 2006, New Delhi hosted an India–Africa summit attended by the leaders of 15 African states. Congress' policy has also been to improve relations with other developing countries, particularly Brazil and South Africa.
As of December 2018, Congress (INC) is in power in the states of Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh where the party has majority support. In Karnataka and Puducherry it shares power with alliance partner Janata Dal (Secular) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam respectively. The party during the post-independence era has governed most of the States and union territories of India.
|State/UT||Chief Minister||Party/alliance partner||CM since||Seats in Assembly||Last election|
|Puducherry||V. Narayanasamy (INC)||INC (15), DMK (2)||6 June 2016||17/30||16 May 2016|
|Punjab||Amarinder Singh (INC)||INC (78)||16 March 2017||78/117||4 February 2017|
|Karnataka||H. D. Kumaraswamy (JD(S))||INC (80), JD(S) (37), BSP (1), KPJP (1), Independent (1)||23 May 2018||120/224||12 May 2018|
|Chhattisgarh||Bhupesh Baghel (INC)||INC (68)||17 December 2018||68/91||11 December 2018|
|Rajasthan||Ashok Gehlot (INC)||INC (99), BSP (6), CPI(M) (02), BTP (2), RLD (1), Independent (9)||17 December 2018||119/200||11 December 2018|
|Madhya Pradesh||Kamal Nath (INC)||INC (118), BSP (2), SP (1)||17 December 2018||121/230||11 December 2018|
|1||Jawaharlal Nehru||1947–64||17 years||Phulpur|
(Acting Prime Minister)
|May–June 1964; January 1966||26 days||Sabarkantha|
|2||Lal Bahadur Shastri||1964–66||2 years||Allahabad|
|3||Indira Gandhi||1966–77, 1980–84||16 years||Uttar Pradesh (Rajya Sabha), Rae Bareli, Medak|
|4||Rajiv Gandhi||1984–89||5 years||Amethi|
|5||P. V. Narasimha Rao||1991–96||5 years||Nandyal|
|6||Manmohan Singh||2004–14||10 years||Assam (Rajya Sabha)|
A majority of non-Congress prime ministers of India had been members of the Congress party earlier in their careers.
|1||Morarji Desai||1977–79||2 years||Surat|
|2||Charan Singh||July 1979; January 1980||170 days||Baghpat|
|3||V. P. Singh||1989–90||1 year||Fatehpur|
|4||Chandra Shekhar||1990||223 Days||Ballia|
|5||H. D. Deve Gowda||1996–97||1 year||Karnataka (Rajya Sabha)|
|6||I. K. Gujral||1997–98||1 year||Bihar (Rajya Sabha)|
... broadly based political party of India. Formed in 1885, the Indian National Congress dominated the Indian movement for independence from Great Britain. It subsequently formed most of India's governments from the time of independence and often had a strong presence in many state governments.
Those fewer than 100 English-educated gentlemen of means and property, mostly lawyers and journalists, could hardly claim to 'represent' some 250 million illiterate impoverished peasants
Without any funds or any secretariat, however (other than Hume) Congress remained, during its first decade at least, more of a sounding board for elite Indian aspirations than a political party.
Members of the 16th Lok Sabha were elected during the 2014 Indian general election. The elections were conducted in 9 phases from 7 April 2014 to 12 May 2014 by the Election Commission of India. The results of the election were declared on 16 May 2014. The Bharatiya Janata Party (of the NDA) achieved an absolute majority with 282 seats out of 543, 166 more than previous 15th Lok Sabha. Its PM candidate Narendra Modi took office on 26 May 2014 as the 14th prime minister of independent India. The first session was convened from June 4 to June 11, 2014.There was no leader of the opposition in the 16th Lok Sabha as the Indian Parliament rules state that a party in the Lok Sabha must have at least 10% (55) of the total seats (545) in order to be considered the opposition party. The Indian National Congress (of the UPA) could only manage 44 seats while the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party from Tamil Nadu came a close third with 37 seats. Mallikarjun Kharge was declared the leader of the Indian National Congress in the Lok Sabha.5 sitting members from Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian Parliament, were elected to 16th Lok Sabha after the 2014 Indian general election.Sumitra Mahajan was elected as its Speaker on 6 June 2014 & will remain in office until the day before the first sitting of new Lok Sabha (17th Lok Sabha). M Thambidurai was elected as Deputy Speaker on 13 August 2014.1999 Indian general election
Lok Sabha General elections were held in India between 5 September and 3 October 1999, a few months after the bloody and remembered Kargil War. For the first time, a united front of political parties managed to win a majority and form a National government that lasted a full term of five years, thus ending a period of political instability at the national level in the country that had been characterised by three general elections held in as many years.2004 Indian general election
General elections were held in India in four phases between 20 April and 10 May 2004. Over 670 million people were eligible to vote, electing 543 members of the 14th Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha, or "House of the People," is the directly elected lower house of the Parliament of India.
On 13 May, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its alliance National Democratic Alliance conceded defeat. The Indian National Congress, which had governed India for all but five years from independence until 1996, returned to power after a record eight years out of office. It was able to put together a comfortable majority of more than 335 members out of 543 with the help of its allies. The 335 members included both the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, the governing coalition formed after the election, as well as external support from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Kerala Congress (KC) and the Left Front. (External support is support from parties that are not part of the governing coalition).
Congress President Sonia Gandhi surprised observers by declining to become the new prime minister, instead asking former Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, a respected economist, to head the new government. Singh had previously served in the Congress government of Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in the early 1990s, where he was seen as one of the architects of India's first economic liberalisation plan, which staved off an impending national monetary crisis. Despite the fact that Singh had never won a Lok Sabha seat, his considerable goodwill and Sonia Gandhi's nomination won him the support of the UPA allies and the Left Front.
Seven states also held assembly elections to elect state governments along with the parliamentary elections2014 Indian general election
The Indian general election, 2014 was held to constitute the 16th Lok Sabha, electing members of parliament for all 543 parliamentary constituencies. Running in nine phases from 7 April to 12 May 2014, it lasted 36 days. According to the Election Commission of India, 814.5 million people were eligible to vote, with an increase of 100 million voters since the last general election in 2009, making it the largest ever election in the world. Around 23.1 million or 2.7% of the total eligible voters were aged 18–19 years. A total of 8,251 candidates contested for the 543 Lok Sabha seats. The average election turnout over all nine phases was around 66.40%, the highest ever in the history of Indian general elections.The results were declared on 16 May 2014, 15 days before the 15th Lok Sabha completed its constitutional mandate on 31 May 2014. The counting exercise was held at 989 counting centres. The National Democratic Alliance won a sweeping victory, taking 336 seats. The BJP won 31.0% votes, which is the lowest share for a party to form a majority government in India since independence, while NDA's combined vote share was 38.5%. BJP and its allies won the right to form the largest majority government since the 1984 general election, and it was the first time since that election that a party has won enough seats to govern without the support of other parties. The United Progressive Alliance, led by the Indian National Congress, won 59 seats, 44 (8.1%) of which were won by the Congress, that won 19.3% of all votes. It was the Congress party's worst defeat in a general election. In order to become the official opposition party in India, a party must gain 10% of the seats (55 seats) in the Lok Sabha; however, the Indian National Congress was unable to attain this number. Due to this fact, India remains without an official opposition party.2019 Indian general election
The 2019 Indian general election was held in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. The counting of votes took place on 23 May, and on the same day the results were declared. About 900 million people were eligible to vote and turnout was over 67 per cent – the highest ever as well as the highest participation by women voters.The Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 seats, further increasing its substantial majority and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won 353 seats. The Indian National Congress party won 52 seats, and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance won 91. Other parties and their alliances won 99 seats.Legislative assembly elections in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim were held simultaneously with the general election.Himanta Biswa Sarma
Himanta Biswa Sarma (born 1 February 1969) is an Indian politician who has been serving as an MLA from Jalukbari constituency in Assam from 2001 till 2015 from Indian National Congress￼￼, and from May 2016 as a Bharatiya Janata Party member. The former member of the Indian National Congress, Sarma joined Bharatiya Janata Party in August 2015.Sarma won the 2016 Assembly elections and was sworn in as Cabinet Minister on 24 May 2016. The BJP leadership appointed him the convener of the newly constituted North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) of which the main objective is an all-round development of the North East and better coordination among the states and Centre, according to Ram Madhav, National General Secretary of BJP.History of the Indian National Congress
From its foundation on 28 December 1885 by A.O. Hume, a retired British officer, until the time India gained its independence on 15 August 1947, the Indian National Congress was considered to be the largest and most prominent Indian public organization, as well as the central and defining influence of the long Indian Independence Movement..Indian National Congress (Organisation)
The Indian National Congress (Organisation) or Congress (O) was a political party in India formed when the Congress party split following the expulsion of Indira Gandhi.
On 12 November 1969, the Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi was expelled from the Congress party for violating the party discipline. The party finally split with Indira Gandhi setting up a rival organization, which came to be known as Congress (R). In the All India Congress Committee, 446 of its 705 members walked over to Indira's side. The Indian National Congress (Organisation) was also occasionally informally referred to as the Syndicate and the Indira faction by "Indicate". K Kamaraj and later Morarji Desai were the leaders of the INC(O).
INC(O) led governments in Bihar under Bhola Paswan Shastri, Karnataka under Veerendra Patil, and in Gujarat under Hitendra K Desai. It was also a part of the Janata Morcha that ruled Gujarat under Babubhai J. Patel from 1975-1976 during the emergency era.
The split can in some ways be seen as a left-wing/right-wing division. Indira wanted to use a populist agenda in order to mobilize popular support for the party. The regional party elites, who formed the INC(O), stood for a more right-wing agenda, and distrusted Soviet help.
In the 1971 general election, the INC(O) won about 10% of the vote and 16 Lok Sabha seats, against 44% of the vote and 352 seats for Indira's Congress. In March 1977, the party fought the post-Emergency election under the banner of Janata Party.
The Janata Party alliance inflicted crushing defeat to Indira's Congress Party. Nevertheless, the total vote share of Congress (O) in 1977 was almost halved from 1971 and they lost three seats.. Later the same year, INC(O) formally merged with the Bharatiya Lok Dal, Bharatiya Jan Sangh, Socialist Party of India, Swatantra Party and others to form the Janata Party. Congress (O)'s leader Morarji Desai served as the fourth Prime Minister of India from 1977 to 1979 which was India's first non-Congress government.List of Indian National Congress breakaway parties
Since India gained independence in 1947, the Indian National Congress (INC) has seen a steady number of splits and breakaway factions. Some of the breakaway organisations have thrived as independent parties, some have become defunct, while others have merged with the parent party or other political parties.List of Presidents of the Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress (INC) is one of the major parties in the political system of Republic of India. The President of the Indian National Congress is the elected head of the party responsible for managing the party's relationship with the general public, developing and communicating party policy especially on election platforms. The President of the All India Congress Committee, and therefore of the Indian National Congress Party (INC) as a whole, is known as the Congress President.
Since the party was established in 1885, 60 people have served as president. The first, Womesh Chandra Banerjee presided over the first session of the Indian National Congress held at Bombay in 1885 from 28 December to 31 December. The most recently serving president is Rahul Gandhi. The president of INC at the time of India's independence was J. B. Kripalani. Annie Besant was the first woman president of INC where Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman president of INC, while Sonia Gandhi is the longest serving president. There are six members of Nehru–Gandhi family who have been Congress Presidents.List of Prime Ministers of India
The Prime Minister of India is the chief executive of the Government of India. In India's parliamentary system, the Constitution names the President as head of state de jure, but his or her de facto executive powers are vested in the prime minister and their Council of Ministers. Appointed and sworn-in by the President, the prime minister is usually the leader of the party or alliance that has a majority in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament of India.Since 1947, India has had 14 prime ministers, 15 including Gulzarilal Nanda who twice acted in the role. The first was Jawaharlal Nehru of the Indian National Congress party, who was sworn in on 15 August 1947, when India gained independence from the British Raj. Serving until his death in May 1964, Nehru remains India's longest-serving prime minister. He was succeeded by fellow Congressman Lal Bahadur Shastri, whose 19-month term also ended in death. Indira Gandhi, Nehru's daughter, succeeded Shastri in 1966 to become the country's first woman prime minister. Eleven years later, she was voted out of power in favour of the Janata Party, whose leader Morarji Desai became the first non-Congress prime minister. After he resigned in 1979, his former deputy Charan Singh briefly held office until Indira Gandhi was voted back six months later. Her second stint as prime minister ended five years later on 31 October 1984, when she was assassinated by her own bodyguards. Her son Rajiv Gandhi was then sworn in as India's youngest premier and the third from his family. Members of Nehru–Gandhi family have been prime minister for a total of 37 years and 303 days.Rajiv's five-year term ended with his former cabinet colleague, V. P. Singh of the Janata Dal, forming the year-long National Front coalition government in 1989. A seven-month interlude under prime minister Chandra Shekhar followed, after which the Congress party returned to power, forming the government under P. V. Narasimha Rao in June 1991. Rao's five-year term was succeeded by four short-lived governments—Atal Bihari Vajpayee from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for 16 days in 1996, a year each under United Front prime ministers H. D. Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral, and Vajpayee again for 19 months in 1998–99. After Vajpayee was sworn-in for the third time, in 1999, he managed to lead his National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to a full five-year term, the first non-Congress alliance to do so. Vajpayee was succeeded by Manmohan Singh, whose United Progressive Alliance government was in office for 10 years between 2004 and 2014. The incumbent prime minister of India is Narendra Modi who has headed the BJP-led NDA government since 26 May 2014 which is India's first non-Congress single party majority government.List of current members of the Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha or Council of States is the upper house of the Parliament of India. Membership is limited to 250 members, and the present Rajya Sabha has 245 members. 233 members are elected by the Vidhan Sabha members and 12 are nominated by the President for their contributions to art, literature, science, and social services. Members sits for six years term, with one-third of the members retiring every two years.
The nominated and state-wise list given below lists the number of seats against each category (nominated and state-wise list) and the number of vacant seats (if any).List of members of the 16th Lok Sabha
This is a List of Members of the 16th Lok Sabha arranged by state-wise and union territory-wise representation in Lok sabha. These members of the Lower house of the Indian Parliament were elected in the 2014 Indian general election held from 7 April to 12 May, 2014.Morarji Desai
Morarji Ranchhodji Desai (29 February 1896 – 10 April 1995) was an Indian independence activist and served between 1977 and 1979 as the 4th Prime Minister of India and led the government formed by the Janata Party. During his long career in politics, he held many important posts in government such as Chief Minister of Bombay State, Home Minister, Finance Minister and 2nd Deputy Prime Minister of India.
Following the passing of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, Desai was a strong contender for the position of Prime Minister, only to be defeated by Indira Gandhi in 1966. He was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet, until 1969. He resigned from the Congress during the split of 1969, and joined the INC (O). After the controversial emergency was lifted in 1977, the political parties of the opposition fought together against the Congress, under the umbrella of the Janata Party, and won the 1977 election. Desai was elected Prime Minister, and became the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India.
On the international scene, Desai holds international fame for his peace activism and created efforts to initiate peace between two rival South Asian states, Pakistan and India. After India's first nuclear test in 1974, Desai helped restore friendly relations with China and Pakistan, and vowed to avoid armed conflict such as Indo-Pakistani war of 1971.
He is the oldest person to hold the office of prime minister, at the age of 84, in the history of Indian politics. He subsequently retired from all political posts, but continued to campaign for the Janata Party in 1980. He was conferred with India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. He died in 1995, at the age of 99.Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi pronunciation [ˈraːɦʊl ˈɡaːnd̪ʱiː] (born 19 June 1970) is an Indian politician. He hails from a long line of politicians, known as the Nehru-Gandhi family, which has occupied a prominent place in the politics of India ever since the country gained independence in 1947. His great-grandfather was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India and also the longest serving Prime Minister of India having served for a total of seventeen years. Gandhi's grandmother, Indira, was the first female Prime Minister of India and his father, Rajiv, was the youngest prime minister of India to be sworn in to office. The son of Sonia and Rajiv, he is the president of the Indian National Congress and serves such additional offices as the chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India. A member of the Indian Parliament, Gandhi represents the constituency of Wayanad, Kerala in the 17th Lok Sabha.Rahul Gandhi stayed away from the public sphere for much of his childhood and early youth; he attained primary education in New Delhi and Dehradun but was later homeschooled because of security concerns. He later attended Rollins College under a pseudonym, his identity being known only to a select few individuals, which included certain university officials and security agencies. After obtaining degrees in International Relations and Development Studies at the universities of Rollins and Cambridge, Gandhi worked at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm in London. He established the Mumbai-based technology outsourcing firm, Backops Services Private Ltd.
Rahul Gandhi entered politics in 2004 and successfully contested the general elections held that year from Amethi, a seat that was earlier held by his father; he won again from the constituency in 2009 and 2014. Amidst calls from Congress party veterans for his greater involvement in party politics and national government, Gandhi was elected Congress Vice-President in 2013, having served as the General Secretary previously. Rahul Gandhi led the INC's campaign in the 2014 Indian general elections; the party suffered its worst electoral result in its history, winning only 44 seats compared to 206 seats won previously in the 2009 general election.
Rahul Gandhi took over as the president of the Congress in December 2017. He is also a trustee of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.Sarojini Naidu
Sarojini Naidu (née Chattopadhyay; 13 February 1879 – 2 March 1949) was an Indian independence activist and poet who earned the sobriquet of Nightingale of India. She was born in a Bengali Hindu family in Hyderabad. She was educated in Chennai ,London and Cambridge. She married Dr. Govindarajulu Naidu and settled down in Hyderabad. She took part in the Indian nationalist movement, became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and fought for the attainment of Swaraj or independence. She became the President of Indian National Congress and was later appointed as Governor of the United Provinces, now Uttar Pradesh. She was the first woman Governor of the Republic of India. Known as the 'Nightingale of India', she was also a noted poet. Her poetry includes children's poems, nature poems, patriotic poems and poems of love and death. She also wrote poetry in praise of Muslim figures like Imam Hussain, in a time where Muslim-Hindu tensions ran high in pre-independence era. Issues regarding the split of India into a Muslim country and a Hindu country have already begun, and as she had got an inter-caste and inter-regional marriage in a time where this was uncommon, her goal was to bring all of India together regardless of any caste or religion.Shankar Dayal Sharma
Shankar Dayal Sharma pronunciation (19 August 1918 – 26 December 1999) was the ninth President of India, serving from 1992 to 1997. Prior to his presidency, Sharma had been the eighth Vice President of India, serving under R. Venkataraman. He was also the Chief Minister (1952–1956) of Bhopal State, and Cabinet Minister (1956–1967), holding the portfolios of Education, Law, Public Works, Industry and Commerce, National Resources and Separate Revenue. He was the President of the Indian National Congress in 1972–1974 and returned to the Government as Union Minister for Communications from 1974 to 1977.
The International Bar Association presented Sharma with the 'Living Legends of Law Award of Recognition' for his outstanding contribution to the legal profession internationally and for commitment to the rule of law.Sharma was born in Bhopal, then the capital of the princely state of Bhopal.Sonia Gandhi
Sonia Gandhi pronunciation (née Maino; born 9 December 1946) is an Indian politician. She is a former president of the Indian National Congress, the secular and left-of-centre political party, which governed India for most of its post-independence history. She took over as the party leader in 1998, seven years after the assassination of her husband, Rajiv Gandhi, a former prime minister of India, and remained in office for nineteen years.Born in a small village near Vicenza, Italy, Gandhi was raised in a Roman Catholic family. After completing her primary education at local schools, she moved for her higher education to Cambridge, England, where she met Rajiv Gandhi, and later married him in 1968. She took up Indian citizenship and began living with her mother-in-law, the then-Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, at the latter's New Delhi residence. Sonia Gandhi, however, kept away from the public sphere, even during the years of her husband's premiership.
Following her husband's assassination, Gandhi was invited by Congress leaders to lead the party, but she declined. She agreed to join politics in 1997 after much pleading from the party; the following year, she was nominated for party president, and elected over Jitendra Prasada. Under her leadership, the Congress went on to form the government post the 2004 elections in coalition with other centre-left political parties. Gandhi has since been credited for being instrumental in formulating the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), which was re-elected to power in 2009. Gandhi declined the premiership following the 2004 victory; she instead led the ruling alliance and the National Advisory Council.Over the course of her career, Gandhi presided over the advisory councils credited for the formation and subsequent implementation of such rights-based development and welfare schemes as the Right to information, Food security bill, and MNREGA, as she drew criticism related to the Bofors scandal and the National Herald Case. Her foreign birth has also been a subject of much debate and controversy. Gandhi's active participation in politics began to reduce during the latter half of the UPA government's second term owing to health concerns. She stepped down as the Congress president in December 2017, but continues to lead the party's Parliamentary committee. Although she never held any public office in the government of India, Gandhi has been widely described as one of the most powerful politicians in the country, and is often listed among the most powerful women in the world.
Indian National Congress
|Pradesh Congress |
(PCC, RCC & TCC)
|Leaders in the Lok Sabha|
|Leaders in the Rajya Sabha|
|Current national coalitions|
|Former national coalitions|
|Recognised national parties|
|Recognised state parties|
|Other parties in parliament|
|Unrecognised parties or|
parties with limited presence
|Former political parties|