Indian National Congress (Organisation)

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The Indian National Congress (Organisation) or Congress (O) was a political party in India formed when Indira Gandhi (then the Prime Minister of India) broke away from the leadership of the Congress Party (which became known as Congress (R)). As Indira had control over the state machinery, her faction was recognized as the "real" INC by the Election Commission of India[citation needed], so the rump INC became known as the INC(O), or informally the "Old Congress". Kingmaker Kamaraj and later Morarji Desai became the leader of the INC(O). The Indian National Congress (Organisation) was also occasionally referred to as the Syndicate (by its opponents).[1]

On 12 November 1969 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) - R for Requisition. In the All India Congress Committee, 446 of its 705 members walked over to Indira's side.[2]

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.

At 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 Alliance which inflicted crushing defeat for Indira's Congress Party. Nevertheless, the total vote share of Congress (O) in 1977 was almost halved from 1971 and they lost 3 seats.[citation needed]. Later the same year, INC(O) formally merged with the Bharatiya Lok Dal, Bharatiya Jan Sangh , Samajwadi Party and others to form the Janata Party. Congress (O)'s leader Morarji Desai served as Prime Minister of India of the Janata government from 1977 to 1979.

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  1. ^ "A Country Study: India" from the U.S. Library of Congress http://memory.loc.gov/frd/cs/intoc.html#in0029
  2. ^ Chandra, Bipan & others (2000). India after Independence 1947-2000, New Delhi:Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-027825-7, p.236