List of presidents of the Indian National Congress

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President of the Indian National Congress
Sonia Gandhi (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Sonia Gandhi

since 10 August 2019
Typepolitical office
Member of
Residence24, Akbar Road, New Delhi-110001
AppointerElectoral College
consisting the members of the Indian National Congress from the National and State Councils
Term lengthfour years
no term limit
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the Indian National Congress
FormationApril 1885
First holderWomesh Chandra Banerjee
(1885–1886)
Websitewww.inc.in

The Indian National Congress is a political party in India with widespread roots.[1] Founded in 1885, it was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa.[a][2] 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][3][c][4] and powerfully influenced other anti-colonial nationalist movements in the British Empire.[d][2]

Congress is a secular party whose social democratic platform is generally considered to be on the centre-left of Indian politics.[5] 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.[6][7] The party primarily endorses social democracy—seeking to balance individual liberty and social justice, welfare and secularism. Its constitution states democratic socialism to be its ideal.[8]

After the party's foundation in 1885, Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee became its first president.  A total of sixty one people have served as the president of the Indian National Congress.[9] Sonia Gandhi (one among the non-Indians) is the longest serving president of the Congress party, having held the office for nineteen years from 1998 to 2017.[10][11]

History[edit]

During 1885–1933, the presidency had a term of 1 year only. 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.[12]

Indira Gandhi however, institutionalized the practice of having the same person as the Congress President and the Prime Minister of India after she formed Congress (I) in 1978. Her son Rajiv Gandhi continued that practice.[13][14]

P. V. Narasimha Rao too held both the Congress (I) President and the Prime Minister's posts. Sitaram Kesri held the post after INC was voted out. But as the party never returned to power under his leadership, he didn't hold the two posts together.[15]

During 2000–09, INC did not host a conference for the first time in history. In 2004, when the INC was voted back into power, Manmohan Singh became the first Prime Minister, not to be the president of the party since Indira Gandhi established the practice of the president holding both positions. Sonia Gandhi is the longest serving president of the Congress party, having held the office for nineteen years from 1998 to 2017.[10][11] Her son Rahul Gandhi, the last Congress President, resigned from the post on 3 July 2019. On 10 August, the Congress Working committee, elected Sonia Gandhi as the interim President. The decision led to critics saying that the Gandhi family is refusing to loosen its grip on the party’s internal power structures.[16]

List of party presidents[edit]

No. Year of Presidency Place of Conference Name of President Picture Life span (Notes)
1 1885 Bombay Womesh Chandra Banerjee WCBonnerjee.jpg (29 December 1844 – 19 August 1906)
A barrister who was the co-founder and first president
of Indian National Congress presiding over its first session.[17]
2 1886 Calcutta Dadabhai Naoroji Dadabhai Naoroji.jpg 4 September 1825 – 30 June 1917

He was also a member of the Indian National Association founded by Sir Surendranath Banerjee from Calcutta a few years before the founding of the INC in Bombay, with the same objectives and practices.[18] The two groups later merged into the INC, and Naoroji was elected President of the Congress in 1886. Naoroji published Poverty and un-British Rule in India in 1901.[18]

3 1887 Madras Badruddin Tyabji BadruddinTyabji.jpg 10 October 1844 – 1906
Tyabji was considered a moderate Muslims during the freedom movement of India.[19] He was instrumental in building the national scope of the Congress by working to gain support from both Hindus and Muslims and during his time as President, he focused on uniting the Muslim community.[20] In response to criticisms that Muslims should boycott the Congress, Tyabji declared that he had denounced all communal and sectarian prejudices.[21][22]
4 1888 Allahabad George Yule George Yule.jpg 1829–1892
a Scottish merchant who served as the fourth President of the Congress and the first non-Indian to hold that office.[23] He was founder of George Yule & Co. of London, and headed Andrew Yule & Co., of Calcutta. He served as Sheriff of Calcutta and as President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
5 1889 Bombay William Wedderburn WilliamWedderburn.jpg 25 March 1838 – 25 January 1918

He joined the Indian Civil Service in Bombay and retired as acting Chief Secretary to the Government of Bombay in 1887. He served as its president in 1889 and 1910. He worked along with influential Congress leaders in Bombay and in 1890 he chaired the British committee of the Indian National Congress. He contributed to the Indian Reform Movement through which he promoted national consciousness.[24]

6 1890 Calcutta Pherozeshah Mehta Pherozeshah Mehta 1996 stamp of India.jpg 4 August 1845 – 5 November 1915
7 1891 Nagpur Anandacharlu August 1843 – 1908
8 1892 Allahabad Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee WCBonnerjee.jpg 29 December 1844 – 1906 becoming a president for a second time[25] he denounced the position that India had to prove for worthiness of political freedom.[26]
9 1893 Lahore Dadabhai Naoroji Dadabhai Naoroji.jpg 4 September 1825 – 1917

He became the president for a second time. Naoroji published Poverty and un-British Rule in India in 1901.[18]

10 1894 Madras Alfred Webb AlfredWebb.jpg 1834–1908
11 1895 Poona Surendranath Banerjee Surendranath Banerjee.jpg 10 November 1848 – 6 August 1925
12 1896 Calcutta Rahimtulla M. Sayani RMSayani.jpg 5 April 1847 – 6 June 1902

He was a member of the Congress Executive Committee (Indian Congress Committee) formed in 1899 as one of the representatives from Bombay. As Congress president, his address to the party was notable for its detailed look on the British rule's economic and financial aspects.[27]

13 1897 Amravati C. Sankaran Nair SirChetturSankaranNair.jpg 11 July 1857 – 24 April 1934
14 1898 Madras Anandamohan Bose AnandaMohanBose.JPG 23 September 1847 – 20 August 1906
15 1899 Lucknow Romesh Chunder Dutt Romesh Chunder Dutt.jpg 13 August 1848 – 1909
16 1900 Lahore N. G. Chandavarkar N. G. Chandavarkar cyclopedia.png 2 December 1855 – 1923
17 1901 Calcutta Dinshaw Edulji Wacha DinshawWacha.jpg 2 August 1844 – 1936
18 1902 Ahmedabad Surendranath Banerjee Surendranath Banerjee.jpg 10 November 1825 – 1917
19 1903 Madras Lalmohan Ghosh 1848–1909
20 1904 Bombay Henry Cotton Henry Cotton.jpg 1845–1915
21 1905 Benares Gopal Krishna Gokhale Gopal krishan gokhale.jpg 9 May 1866 – 1915
22 1906 Calcutta Dadabhai Naoroji Dadabhai Naoroji.jpg 4 September 1825 – 1917

He was elected president of the Congress for a third time. Naoroji was a staunch moderate within the Congress, during the phase when opinion in the party was split between the moderates and extremists. Naoroji was a mentor to Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

23 1907 Surat Rashbihari Ghosh Rash Bihari Ghosh.jpg 23 December 1845 – 1921
24 1908 Madras Rashbihari Ghosh Rash Bihari Ghosh.jpg 23 December 1845 – 1921
25 1909 Lahore Madan Mohan Malaviya Madan Mohan Malaviya 1961 stamp of India.jpg 25 December 1861 – 1946
26 1910 Allahabad William Wedderburn WilliamWedderburn.jpg 1838–1918

He joined the Indian Civil Service in Bombay and retired as acting Chief Secretary to the Government of Bombay in 1887. He served as its president in 1889 and 1910. He worked along with influential Congress leaders in Bombay and in 1890 he chaired the British committee of the Indian National Congress. He contributed to the Indian Reform Movement through which he promoted national consciousness.[24]

27 1911 Calcutta Bishan Narayan Dar 1864–1916
28 1912 Bankipore Raghunath Narasinha Mudholkar 1857–1921
29 1913 Karachi Nawab Syed Muhammad Bahadur ?–1919
30 1914 Madras Bhupendra Nath Bose Bhupendranath Bose.jpg 1859–1924
31 1915 Bombay Lord Satyendra Prasanna Sinha Lord Sina.jpg March 1863 – 1928
32 1916 Lucknow Ambica Charan Mazumdar 1916muzumdar.jpg 1850–1922
33 1917 Calcutta Annie Besant Annie Besant.png 1 October 1847 – 1933
34 1918 Delhi Madan Mohan Malaviya Madan Mohan Malaviya1.jpg 25 December 1861 – 1946
35 1918 Bombay (Special Session) Syed Hasan Imam Syed Hasan Imam.jpg 31 August 1871 – 1933
36 1919 Amritsar Motilal Nehru MotilalNehru4.jpg 6 May 1861 – 6 February 1931
37 1920 Calcutta (Special Session) Lala Lajpat Rai Lala lajpat Rai.jpg 28 January 1865 – 17 November 1928
38 1920 Nagpur C. Vijayaraghavachariar C Vijayaraghavachariar 1998 stamp of India.jpg 1852 – 19 April 1944
39 1921 Ahmedabad Chittaranjan Das (President)

Hakim Ajmal Khan (Acting President)

1921ajmalkhan.jpg 1863 – 29 December 1927
40 1922 Gaya Chittaranjan Das Chittaranjan Das.JPG 5 November 1870 – 16 June 1925
41 1923 Kakinada Mohammad Ali Jouhar Mohammad Ali Jauhar 1978 stamp of India.jpg 10 December 1878 – 4 January 1931
42 1923 Delhi (Special Session) Abul Kalam Azad Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.jpg 1888 – 22 February 1958
43 1924 Belgaum Mahatma Gandhi Portrait Gandhi.jpg 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948
44 1925 Kanpur Sarojini Naidu Sarojini Naidu in Bombay 1946.jpg 13 February 1879 – 2 March 1949
45 1926 Gauhati S. Srinivasa Iyengar S. Srinivasa Iyengar.jpg 11 September 1874 – 19 May 1941
46 1927 Madras Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari 1980 stamp of India.jpg 25 December 1880 – 10 May 1936
47 1928 Calcutta Motilal Nehru MotilalNehru4.jpg 6 May 1861 – 6 February 1931
48 1929 & 30 Lahore Jawaharlal Nehru Jnehru.jpg 14 November 1889 – 27 May 1964
49 1931 Karachi Vallabhbhai Patel Sardar patel (cropped).jpg 31 October 1875 – 15 December 1950
50 1932 Delhi Madan Mohan Malaviya Madan Mohan Malaviya1.jpg 25 December 1861 – 1946
51 1933 Calcutta Nellie Sengupta Nellie and Jatindra Mohan Sengupta 1985 stamp of India.jpg 1886–1973

She was elected President by the party for her contribution to the party and the country. In 1933 and 1936, she was elected as an alderman in the Calcutta Corporation.[28]

52 1934 & 35 Bombay Rajendra Prasad Rajendra Prasad (Indian President), signed image for Walter Nash (NZ Prime Minister), 1958 (16017609534).jpg 3 December 1884 – 28 February 1963
53 1936 Lucknow Jawaharlal Nehru Jnehru.jpg 14 November 1889 – 27 May 1964
54 1937 Faizpur
55 1938 Haripura Subhas Chandra Bose Subhas Chandra Bose NRB.jpg 23 January 1897 – ..

He had a view that the INC "should be organised on the boradest anti-imperialist front with the two fold objective of winning political freedom and the establishment of a socialist regime."[29]

56 1939 Tripuri near Jabalpur Subhas Chandra Bose (resigned)
Rajendra Prasad replaced Bose after
the session.
Subhas Chandra Bose NRB.jpg Rajendra Prasad (Indian President), signed image for Walter Nash (NZ Prime Minister), 1958 (16017609534).jpg 23 January 1897 – ..
57 1940–45 Ramgarh Abul Kalam Azad Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.jpg 1888 – 22 February 1958
57 1946 Jawaharlal Nehru Jnehru.jpg 14 November 1889 – 27 May 1964

One month after his election as the president, he was asked to head the Interim Government. After which the post of the party president and the head of the Interim government was split. Nehru resigned as the president of INC and headed the Government.[30]

58 1947 Meerut J. B. Kripalani Acharya Kripalani 1989 stamp of India.jpg 1888 – 19 March 1982

He had served as the General Secretary of the INC for almost a decade. He had experience working in the field of education and was made the president to rebuild the INC. Disputes between the party and the Government over procedural matters affected his relationship with the colleagues in the Government.[30]

59 1948 & 49 Jaipur Pattabhi Sitaraimayya Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya 1997 stamp of India.jpg 24 December 1880 – 17 December 1959
60 1950 Nasik Purushottam Das Tandon Purushottam Das Tandon 1982 stamp of India.jpg 1 August 1882 – 1 July 1961
61 1951 & 52 Delhi Jawaharlal Nehru Jnehru.jpg 14 November 1889 – 27 May 1964
62 1953 Hyderabad
63 1954 Calcutta
64 1955 Avadi U. N. Dhebar 21 September 1905 – 1977
65 1956 Amritsar
66 1957 Indore
67 1958 Gauhati
68 1959 Nagpur
69 1959 Delhi (Special Session) Indira Gandhi Indira Gandhi in 1967.jpg 19 November 1917 – 31 October 1984
70 1960 Bangalore Neelam Sanjiva Reddy NeelamSanjeevaReddy.jpg 19 May 1913 – 1 June 1996
71 1961 Bhavnagar
72 1962 & 63 Patna
73 1964 Bhubaneswar K. Kamaraj K Kamaraj 1976 stamp of India.jpg 15 July 1903 – 2 October 1975
74 1965 Durgapur
75 1966 & 67 Jaipur
76 1968–1969 Hyderabad S. Nijalingappa Snijalingappa.jpg 10 December 1902 – 9 August 2000
Faridabad
77 1970 & 71 Bombay Jagjivan Ram Jagjivan Ram 1991 stamp of India.jpg 5 April 1908 – 6 July 1986
78 1972–74 Calcutta Shankar Dayal Sharma Shankar Dayal Sharma 36.jpg 19 August 1918 – 26 December 1999
79 1975–77 Chandigarh Devakanta Barua Dev Kant Baruah.jpg 22 February 1914 – 1996
80 1977–1978 South Delhi Kasu Brahmananda Reddy Kasu Brahmananda Reddy 2011 stamp of India.jpg 28 July 1909 – 20 May 1994
81 1978–83 Delhi Indira Gandhi Indira Gandhi in 1967.jpg 19 November 1917 – 31 October 1984
82 1983 & 84 Calcutta
83 1985–91 Bombay Rajiv Gandhi Rajiv Gandhi (cropped).jpg 20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991
84 1991–96 Tirupati P. V. Narasimha Rao Pumapaparti.N.rao.jpg 28 June 1921 – 23 December 2004
85 1996–98 Calcutta Sitaram Kesri With Sita Ram Kesari and Menka Gandhi.jpg November 1919 – 24 October 2000
86 1998–2017 Calcutta Sonia Gandhi Sonia Gandhi (cropped).jpg 9 December 1946
87 2017–2019 Delhi Rahul Gandhi Rahul Gandhi.jpg 19 June 1970
88 2019– Delhi Sonia Gandhi Sonia Gandhi (cropped).jpg 9 December 1946[31]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The first modern nationalist movement to arise in the non-European empire, and one that became an inspiration for many others, was the Indian Congress."[2]
  2. ^ "South Asian parties include several of the oldest in the post-colonial world, foremost among them the 129-year-old Indian National Congress that led India to independence in 1947"[3]
  3. ^ "The organization that led India to independence, the Indian National Congress, was established in 1885."[4]
  4. ^ "... anti-colonial movements ... which, like many other nationalist movements elsewhere in the empire, were strongly infuenced by the Indian National Congress."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Indian National Congress". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Marshall, P. J. (2001), The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire, Cambridge University Press, p. 179, ISBN 978-0-521-00254-7
  3. ^ a b Chiriyankandath, James (2016), Parties and Political Change in South Asia, Routledge, p. 2, ISBN 978-1-317-58620-3
  4. ^ a b Kopstein, Jeffrey; Lichbach, Mark; Hanson, Stephen E. (2014), Comparative Politics: Interests, Identities, and Institutions in a Changing Global Order, Cambridge University Press, p. 344, ISBN 978-1-139-99138-4
  5. ^ "Indian National Congress – about INC, history, symbol, leaders and more". Elections.in. 7 February 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  6. ^ Sahasrabuddhe, Vinay (8 August 2016). "In Decline Mode, Congress Struggles With a 'Crisis of Purpose'". The Quint. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Indian National Congress". Times of India. 9 February 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  8. ^ "The Congress Constitution". Indian National Congress. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Indian National Congress: From 1885 till 2017, a brief history of past presidents". 5 December 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Sonia Gandhi (Indian politician)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  11. ^ a b Barbara A. Somervill (2007). Indira Gandhi: Political Leader in India. Capstone. pp. 91–. ISBN 978-0-7565-1885-1.
  12. ^ DelhiDecember 16, Prabhash K. Dutta New; December 16, 2017UPDATED; Ist, 2017 13:38. "Rahul Gandhi is not youngest Congress president, not even in family". India Today.
  13. ^ "Goodbye, Rahul Gandhi?". India Today.
  14. ^ April 21, Nikhil Chakravartty; January 31, 2015 ISSUE DATE; April 28, 1978UPDATED; Ist, 2015 10:37. "Indira Gandhi installed as president of break-away faction of Congress Party". India Today.
  15. ^ DelhiNovember 19, Prabhash K. Dutta New; November 19, 2018UPDATED; Ist, 2018 11:57. "Here's how Sonia Gandhi replaced Sitaram Kesri as Congress president". India Today.
  16. ^ Parkin, Benjamin (2019). "India's Congress party names Sonia Gandhi interim president". Financial Times (11 August 2019). Financial times. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  17. ^ Nanda, B. R. (2015) [1977], Gokhale: The Indian Moderates and the British Raj, Legacy Series, Princeton University Press, p. 58, ISBN 978-1-4008-7049-3
  18. ^ a b c Nanda, B. R. (In 1874, he became Prime Minister of Baroda and was a member of the Legislative Council of Bombay (1885–88).2015) [1977], Gokhale: The Indian Moderates and the British Raj, Legacy Series, Princeton University Press, p. 58, ISBN 978-1-4008-7049-3 Check date values in: |year= (help)
  19. ^ Anonymous (1926). Eminent Mussalmans (1 ed.). Madras: G.A. Natesan & Co. pp. 97–112.
  20. ^ Karlitzky, Maren (1 January 2004). "Continuity and Change in the Relationship between Congress and the Muslim Élite: A Case Study of the Tyabji Family". Oriente Moderno. 23 (84): 161–175. JSTOR 25817923.
  21. ^ "Profile of Badruddin Tyabji". Indian National Congress website. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  22. ^ Tyabji, Badruddin. "Presidential speech to the Indian National Congress, 1887". www.columbia.edu. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  23. ^ Catherine Hall; Sonya O. Rose (2006). At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World. Cambridge University Press. p. 281. ISBN 978-1-139-46009-5.
  24. ^ a b "William Wedderburn - Read here complete information about William Wedderburn biography, History, education, Family, fact, other information". Indian National Congress. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
  25. ^ Sayed Jafar Mahmud (1994). Pillars of Modern India, 1757–1947. APH Publishing. p. 19. ISBN 978-81-7024-586-5.
  26. ^ Lacy, Creighton (1965). The Conscience Of India – Moral Traditions In The Modern World, Holt, New York: Rinehart and Winston, p. 123
  27. ^ "Rahimatullah M. Sayani, PAST PARTY PRESIDENTS, Indian National Congress". Indian National Congress. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  28. ^ "Mrs. Nellie Sengupta, Past Presidents, Indian National Congress". Indian National Congress. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  29. ^ Bose, Subhas Chandra (2004). CONGRESS PRESIDENT: Speeches, Articles, and Letters January 1938–May 1939. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-81-7824-103-6.
  30. ^ a b Kochanek, Stanley A. (2015). The Congress Party of India: The Dynamics of a One-Party Democracy. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1-4008-7576-4. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  31. ^ Phukan, Sandeep (10 August 2019). "Congress brings back Sonia Gandhi to lead for now". The Hindu.

External links[edit]