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Indian National Congress, Congress-I (also known as the Congress
Party and abbreviated INC) is a major political party in India.
Created in 1885 by A. O. Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji and Sir Dinshaw
Edulji Wacha, the Indian National Congress became the nation's leader
in the Independence Movement, with over 15 million Indians involved
in its organizations and over 70 million participants in its struggle
against the British Empire.
During this phase, it functioned not so much as a political party than
as a forum for Indians and their British supporters to express to the
colonial authorities their views, opinions and to assert India’s right to
After independence in 1947, it became the nation's dominant political
party, in power from 1947 until 1977, then from 1980 to 1999, 1991 to
1996 and winning the 2004 general election.
In the 14th Lok Sabha (2004-2009), 145 INC members, the largest
contingent amongst all parties, serve in the house. The party is
currently the chief member of the ruling United Progressive Alliance
coalition supported by the Left Front.
Famous members include Annie Besant, its first woman INC President,
Mahatma Gandhi (President in 1924) and Sarojini Naidu, the first
Indian woman President (1925) and the first woman State Governor
and India’s first woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
Aim and Objectives of the Congress
1. Promotion of the friendship among the countrymen.
2. Development and consolidation of feeling of national unity
3. irrespective of race, caste, religion and provinces.
4. Formation of popular demands and presentation before the
5. Government through petitions.
6. Training and organisation of public opinion.
7. Consolidation of sentiments of national unity.
8. Recording of the opinions of educated classes on pressing problems.
9.Laying downlines for future course of action in public interest
The Indian National Congress through resolution demanded for:
(i) The appointment of a commission to inquire into the working of the Indian
(ii) The abolition of the India council of the Secretary of state for India,
(iii) Creation of legislative councils of the north-west provinces and Awadh and the
(iv) Enhancement of the number of elected members in the central and provincial
legislative councils with the right of interpolation and discussion of the budget and
the creation of a standing committee in the house of commons to look into the
demands of the people,
(v) Reduction of military expenditure and equitable division of expenditure
between India and England,
(vi) Introduction of simultaneous Public Service Examinations in England and India
and raising age of the candidates who wish to appear for ICS. Till 1905, the Indian
National Congress, demanded only for piecemeal reforms through petitions and
On the basis of the goal, strategy and technique adopted by the Indian National
Congress, the national movement of India was divided as moderate phase (1885-
1905), extremist phase (1905 to 1918) and the revolutionary phase and finally the
Gandhian phase (1919 to 1947).
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 British rule.
The Congress met once a year during December. Indeed, it was a
Scotsman, Allan Octavian Hume, who brought about its first
meeting in Mumbai, with the approval of Lord Dufferin, the then-
Womesh Chandra Bonerjee was the first President of the INC.
The first meeting was scheduled to be held in Pune, but due to a
plague outbreak there, the meeting was later shifted to Mumbai. The
first Session of INC was held from 28-31 December 1885, and was
attended by 72 delegates
The pre-independence era
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
. By 1907 the party was split into two halves: the Garam Dal
of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, or Extremists (literally "hot faction"),
and the Naram Dal of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, or Moderates
(literally "soft faction"), distinguished by their attitude
towards the British.
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.
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 he became 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
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 awesome majorities in
the elections of 1952, 1957 and 1962.
1. After Nehru's death in 1964, the party's future first came into question.
2. 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,
3.The first serious challenge to Congress hegemony came in 1967
when a united opposition, under the banner of Samyukt Vidhanayak
Dal, won control over several states in the Hindi belt
4. 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 (Organisation) 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
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. The party was able to return to power in the 1980 elections.
In 1984 Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh
bodyguards, as a revenge for Operation Blue Star. In the following days
thousands of Sikhs were killed in the 1984 riots, mainly in Delhi, by
activists and leaders of the Congress Party
The post-Indira era
After Indira, her son Rajiv Gandhi, took over as Congress leader and
led the party to victory with a large majority in the 1984 Lok Sabha
It governed from 1984-9 and then was defeated in the 1989 general
election. Rajiv Gandhi was also assassinated by the LTTE during the
course of the election campaign in 1991.
Following Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, P.V. Narasimha Rao succeeded
him as Congress leader and became prime minister.
The 1990s was a period of prolonged crisis for the Congress.
After gradually losing political influence the party asked the Rajiv
Gandhi's widow, Sonia, to accept the position as Congress President.
Refusing in 1991, the Congress stuck with Narasimha Rao. Rao
dramatically changed the party's traditionally socialist policies and
introduced major economic reforms and liberalization, with the help
of then Finance minister (and future Prime Minister) Manmohan
Nonetheless, his involvement in the bribery of members of
parliament was a major issue which led to the downfall of the
Congress in 1996, and subsequently his own disgraced exit from
Indian Prime Ministers from the
Jawaharlal Nehru (1947 - 1964)
Gulzarilal Nanda (May - June1964, January 1966)
Lal Bahadur Shastri (1964 - 1966)
Indira Gandhi (1966 - 1977, 1980 - 1984)
Rajiv Gandhi (1984 - 1989)
P.V. Narasimha Rao (1991 - 1996)
Manmohan Singh (2004 -)
Congress Party and Social Liberalism
Congress has been the ruling party of India for no less than 49 years, though not at a
stretch. The dominant party in Indian political space has formed government for 10
times, winning majority on six occasions and forming coalitions for four times.
For its social liberal outlook, the Congress Party is generally placed on the Centre-Left
of the political spectrum. It adheres to the Gandhian principle of upliftment of all
sections of society.
Unlike many other contemporary parties, Congress supports liberal nationalism,
which can also be referred as a more tolerant nationalism with space for equality,
freedom and rights.
Socialist tendencies and the restrictive economic policies framed by its government
have often been blamed for the downhill ride of Indian economy. There is a
significant dichotomy in the party’s economic policies.
On the one hand, it supports free market policies, and on the other hand it adopts a
wait-and-watch approach when it comes to liberalising the economy. Despite all
these, the party is credited with initiating deregularisation, liberalisation and
Congress Creating The Republic
1. Freedom Movement
2. Our Constitution
3. Commitment to Democracy
4. Panchayati Raj
5. Combating Corruption
6. Lowering the Voting Age
CongressBuilding An Equal India
1. Voting Rights for All
2. Progressive Values
3. Equal Economic Opportunity
4. Building Social Equality
5. Women's Reservation
Congress Bringing Prosperity
1. Temples of Modern India
2. 5-year Plan
3. Bank Nationalisation
4. Green Revolution
5. White Revolution
6. Indiraji's 20 Point Programme
7. Economic Reforms
8. Right Based Approach
9. Mahatma Gandhi NREGA
10. Food Security Act
11. Land Acquisition Act
13. Tribal Empowerment
14. Aadhaar & DBT
16. Economic Growth
19. Roads, Rail and Air Transport
20. Urban Development
21. Nuclear Power
Congress Strengthening the Nation
2. Unifying the Nation
3. Fighting Internal Threats
4. Empowering States
5. Improving Internal Security
Promoting World Peace
1. Panchsheel and Non-Alignment
2. Liberating Bangladesh
Scams under Indian National
Telecom scam (Sukh Ram)
Tansi land deal
JMM Bribery Scandal
St Kitts case
Anantnag transport scam
1971 Nagarwala scandal
Churhat lottery scam
Bofors Scandal (1990)
Animal Husbandry Case (1990)
Bombay Stock Exchange Fraud
Ketan Parekh Scandal,
Barak Missile Deal Scandal,
Tehelka Scandal (2001)
Taj corridor case (2002–2003)
Telgi scandal (2003)
IPO Scam- karvy
Oil-for-food programme scam (Natwar) (05)
Human Trafficking Scam (Babubhai Katara)
2G Spectrum- 2008
Madhu Koda, laundering money Rs. 4000 Cr
Hawala scandal (1993)
Bangalore-Mysore Corridor (1995)
Sukh Ram (1996)
Fodder Scam in Bihar (1996)
Kerala SNC Lavalin power scandal(97
Lack of transparency within party:
Failure to communicate with voters
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
No leadership hierarchy
Corruption and scams