Indian National Congress

Indian National Congress Session 1885

72 political workers with the support of retired ICS officer Allan Octavian Hume (A.O Hume), laid foundation of Indian National Congress in December, 1885. The first president, W.C Bonnerji identified three basic objectives of Congress as:

  • Promotion of feeling and sentiments of national unity.
  • Create common platform for political workers, where they could gather and conduct political activities, educating and mobilizing people of all India-basis.
  • Educate & Spread Political democracy

In an effort to reach out to all the regions of India, it was decided to rotate the Congress Sessions in different parts of India and elect a President such that, he or she does not belong to region, where session is being conducted.

Important Facts to remember about Indian National Congress

  • First President: W.C. Bonerjee
  • Word Congress adopted from U.S.A
  • English President of Indian national Congress: 5 Nos.
    • George Yule (1888) – First Foreign
    • Sir William Wedderburn (1889,1910)
    • Alfred Webb (1894)
    • Sir Henry Cotton (1904)
    • Venue 1st Session – Gokul Tejpal Sanskrit School, Bombay.
  • “Swaraj” was first used at congress platform: (1906) Calcutta.
  • First Women President: Annie Besant (1917 Calcutta session).
  • First Indian Women President – Sarojini Naidu (1925, Kanpur session)
  • Total Women President – Annie Besant , Sarojini Naidu & Nalin Sengupta.
  • First Muslim President: Badaruddin Tayabji (1887, Madras)
  • Youngest President Indian National Congress: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
  • Maximum times President:
    • Dadabhi Naoroji (1886,1893,1906),
    • Jawahar Lal Nehru (1929, 1936, 1937).
  • First village session:  Fazipur, near Jalgaon,1936).
  • Session presided over by Gandhi ji– Belgaon (1924).
  • Complete Independence demand raised for the first time: Lahore (1929).
  • First time Vande Mataram Sung: Calcutta Session 1896
  • First time National Anthem (Jana Gana Mana ): Calcutta session (1911)
  • Constitution need emphasized
    • First time at Allahabad session, 1888
    • Second time Poona Session 1885
  • All India Khadi Board: formed as result of 1923 Delhi Session
  • Khadi made compulsory: Guwahati session 1926
  • All India Youth congress: Calcutta Session 1928
  • Fundamentals Rights and Economic Policy Proposals Passed: Karachi Session 1931
  • Congress was declared illegal during 1932,1933 sessions
  • Socialism – 1936 Lucknow session.

Indian National Congress: Sessions & Presidents

1885BombayWomesh Chandra Bonnerjee
1886CalcuttaDadabhai Naoroji
1887MadrasBadruddin Tyabji
1888AllahabadGeorge Yule
1889BombaySir William Wedderburn
1890CalcuttaPherozeshah Mehta
1891NagpurP. Ananda Charlu
1892AllahabadWomesh Chandra Bonnerjee
1893LahoreDadabhai Naoroji
1894MadrasAlfred Webb
1895PoonaSurendranath Banerjee
1896CalcuttaRahimatullah M. Sayani
1897AmraotiC. Sankaran Nair
1898MadrasAnanda Mohan Bose
1899LucknowRomesh Chunder Dutt
1900LahoreN.G. Chandavarkar
1901CalcuttaDinshaw Eduljee Wacha
1902AhmedabadSurendranath Banerjee
1903MadrasLal Mohan Ghosh
1904BombaySir Henry Cotton
1905BenaresGopal Krishna Gokhale
1906CalcuttaDadabhai Naoroji
1907SuratRash Behari Ghosh
1908MadrasRash Behari Ghosh
1909LahoreMadan Mohan Malaviya
1910AllahabadSir William Wedderburn
1911CalcuttaBishan Narayan Dar
1913KarachiNawab Syed Mohammed Bahadur
1915BombaySatyendra Prasanna Sinha
1916LucknowAmbica Charan Mazumdar
1917CalcuttaAnnie Besant
1918Special Session August BombaySyed Hasan Imam
1918DelhiMadan Mohan Malaviya
1919AmritsarMotilal Nehru
1920NagpurC. Vijayaraghavachariar
1921AhmedabadHakim Ajmal Khan (Acting President for C.R. Das)
1922GayaC.R. Das
1922Special Session DelhiAbul Kalam Azad
1924BelgaumGandhi ji
1925KanpurShri B.K. Hariprasad
1926GauhatiS. Srinivasa Iyengar
1927MadrasM.A. Ansari
1928CalcuttaMotilal Nehru
1931KarachiVallabbhai J. Patel
1932DelhiRanchod Lal Amrit Lal
1933CalcuttaNellie Sen Gupta
1934BombayRajendra Prasad
1938HaripuraSubhash Chandra Bose
1939TripuriSubhash Chandra Bose
1940RamgarhAbul Kalam Azad
1946MeerutJ.B. Kripalani
1948JaipurPattabhi Sitaraimayya

Splits in India National Congress:

Split 1:

The early phase of Congress from 1885 to 1905 was dominated by moderate ideology, which did not believed in organizing mass movements. But partition of Bengal in 1905, and subsequent Swadeshi movement resulted in rise of mass movement.

As a result in 1907 Congress was split into two halves – the moderate (naram Dal) led by Gopal Krishna Gokhle and extremist (gram dal ) led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

In 1915, with efforts of Bal Gangadhar Tilak & Annie Beasant , extremist were allowed to rejoin Congress in December 19015. Later in 1916, Congress reached an agreement (Lucknow Pact) with Muslim League and joint session was held at Lucknow.


Split 2:

In 1919, British came up with Montagu-Chelmsford Reform under Government of India Act 1919. Indian nationalist were not happy with concessions and in demanded effective self-government instead. Some of the veterans led by Surendra Natha Banerjea were in favor accepting government proposals and founded Indian Liberal Federation.


Split 3:

Non-Cooperation movement was withdrawn in Feb 1922 and Gandhi ji was arrested and congress continued boycott of legislative councils. As time passed, hating inactivity of Congress, a group led by C.R Das and Motilal Nehru suggested to end boycott of legislative councils in Gaya Session December, 1922.

But the proposal was defeated and CR das, Motilal Nehru resigned to form Congress-Khilafat Swaraj party. The split was put to end by Gandhi ji on 6-November 1924, when he signed joint statement with Das & Nehru that Swarajist would carry on work in legislatures on behalf of Congress Party.


Split 4:

In 1939, Subhas Chandra Bose, the elected president in both 1938 and 1939, resigned from the Congress over the selection of the working committee and formed The Forward Bloc as a new party within Congress.

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