President of the Indian National Congress
Traditionally, the post rotated between prominent members of the party, successive terms for the same person being frowned upon. During Jawaharlal Nehru's premiership, he rarely held the Presidency of INC, even though he was always head of the Legislative Party.
Indira Gandhi however, institutionalised the practice of having the same person as the President and the Prime Minister after the first Congress split of 1969. Her son Rajiv Gandhi continued that practice. He was the INC President and the Prime Minister.
Narasimha Rao, too held both the Congress President and the Prime Minister's posts. Sitaram Kesri held the post after INC was voted out. But as the INC never returned to power under his leadership, he didn't hold the two posts together.
In 2004, when the INC was voted back Dr Manmohan Singh became the first INC Prime Minister, not to be the INC President since the practice began. This was indicative of the position Sonia Gandhi held vis-à-vis the Prime Minister. Sonia Gandhi is the current Congress President.
List of presidents of the party
- "Sonia Gandhi (Indian politician)". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 3 October 2014.