Indian National Congress

Abbreviation INC
President Rahul Gandhi
Parliamentary ChairpersonSonia Gandhi
Lok Sabha LeaderMallikarjun Kharge
Rajya Sabha leaderGhulam Nabi Azad
(Leader of the Opposition)
FounderAllan Octavian Hume
Dadabhai Naoroji
Dinshaw Wacha
Founded28 December 1885,
(132 years ago)
Headquarters24, Akbar Road,
New Delhi 110001
NewspaperCongress Sandesh
Student wingNational Students
Union of India
Youth wingIndian Youth Congress
Women's wingAll India Mahila Congress
Student wingTrinamool Chatra Parishad
Labour wingIndian National Trade Union Congress
Minority wingMinority Congress
Membership20–40 million
IdeologySocial democracy
Democratic socialism
Social liberalism
Indian nationalism
Gandhian socialism
Political positionCentre-left
International affiliationProgressive Alliance
Socialist International
ColoursSky blue
ECI StatusNational Party
AllianceUnited Progressive
Alliance (UPA)
Seats in Lok Sabha48 / 545
(currently 539 members + 1 Speaker)
Seats in Rajya Sabha51 / 245
(currently 244 members)
Number of states and
union territories in government
4 / 31

Sonia Gandhi

Parliamentary Chairperson
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Ghulam Nabi Azad

Rajya Sabha Leader
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The Indian National Congress is a broadly based political party in India.Founded in 1885, it was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa.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, with over 15 million members and over 70 million participants.Congress led India to independence from Great Britain,and powerfully influenced other anti-colonial nationalist movements in the British Empire.
Congress is a secular party whose social liberal platform is generally considered to be on the centre-left of Indian politics.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.The party primarily endorses social liberalism—seeking to balance individual liberty and social justice, and secularism—asserting the right to be free from religious rule and teachings.
After India's independence in 1947, Congress formed the central government of India, and many regional state governments.Congress became India's dominant political party; as of 2015, in the 15 general elections since independence, it has won an outright majority on six occasions and has led the ruling coalition a further four times, heading the central government for 49 years. There have been seven Congress Prime Ministers, the first being Jawaharlal Nehru (1947–1964), and the most recent Manmohan Singh (2004–2014). Although it did not fare well in the last general elections in India in 2014, it remains one of two major, nationwide, political parties in India, along with the right-wing, Hindu nationalist, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).In the 2014 general election, Congress had its poorest post-independence general election performance, winning only 44 seats of the 543-member Lok Sabha.
From 2004 to 2014, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, a coalition of several regional parties, formed the Indian government, and was headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The leader of the party during the period, Sonia Gandhi has served the longest term as the president of the party. As of March 2018, the party is in power in three states: Punjab, Karnataka and Mizoram and the union territory of Puducherry.

Election symbols

As of 2014, the election symbol of Congress, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is an image of a right hand with its palm facing front and its fingers pressed together;this is usually shown in the centre of a tricolor flag. The hand symbol was first used by Indira Gandhi when she split from the Congress (R) faction following the 1977 elections and created the New Congress (I).
The symbol of the original Congress during elections held between 1952 and 1971 was an image of two bullocks with a plough.The symbol of Indira's Congress (R) during the 1971–1977 period was a cow with a suckling calf.

Year General election Seats won Change in # of seats Percentage of vote Vote swing Outcome
Indian general election, 1934 5th Central Legislative Assembly 42 Increase 42 N/A
Indian general election, 1945 6th Central Legislative Assembly 59 Increase 17 Interim Government of India(1946-1947)
Indian general election, 1951 1st Lok Sabha 364 44.99% Government
Indian general election, 1957 2nd Lok Sabha 371 Increase7 47.78% Increase 2.79% Government
Indian general election, 1962 3rd Lok Sabha 361 Decrease10 44.72% Decrease 3.06% Government
Indian general election, 1967 4th Lok Sabha 283 Decrease78 40.78% Decrease 2.94% Government
Indian general election, 1971 5th Lok Sabha 352 Increase69 43.68% Increase 2.90% Government
Indian general election, 1977 6th Lok Sabha 153 Decrease199 34.52% Decrease 9.16% Opposition
Indian general election, 1980 7th Lok Sabha 351 Increase 198 42.69% Increase 8.17% Government
Indian general election, 1984 8th Lok Sabha 415 Increase 64 49.01% Increase 6.32% Government
Indian general election, 1989 9th Lok Sabha 197 Decrease218 39.53% Decrease 9.48% Opposition
Indian general election, 1991 10th Lok Sabha 244 Increase 47 35.66% Decrease 3.87% Government
Indian general election, 1996 11th Lok Sabha 140 Decrease 104 28.80% Decrease 7.46% Opposition, later outside support for UF
Indian general election, 1998 12th Lok Sabha 141 Increase 1 25.82% Decrease 2.98% Opposition
Indian general election, 1999 13th Lok Sabha 114 Decrease 27 28.30% Increase 2.48% Opposition
Indian general election, 2004 14th Lok Sabha 145 Increase 32 26.7% Decrease 1.6% Government
Indian general election, 2009 15th Lok Sabha 206 Increase 61 28.55% Increase 2.02% Government
Indian general election, 2014 16th Lok Sabha 44 Decrease 162 19.3% Decrease 9.25% Opposition

Current structure and composition

Congress is structured in a hierarchical manner, and the organisational structure, created by Mohandas Gandhi's re-arrangement of the party between 1918 and 1920, has been largely retained.A president and the All India Congress Committee (AICC) are elected by delegates from state and district parties at an annual national conference; in every Indian state and union territory—or pradesh—there is a Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), which is the state-level unit of the party responsible for directing political campaigns at local and state levels, and assisting the campaigns for parliamentary constituencies.Each PCC has a working committee of twenty members, most of whom are appointed by the party president, the leader of the state party, who is chosen by the prime minister. Those elected as members of the states' legislative assemblies form the Congress Legislature Parties in the various state assemblies; their chairperson is usually the party's nominee for Chief Ministership. The party is also organised into various committees, and sections; it publishes a daily newspaper, the National Herald.Despite being a party with a structure, Congress under Indira did not hold any organizational elections after 1972.
The AICC is composed of delegates sent from the PCCs.The delegates elect Congress committees, including the Congress Working Committee, consisting of senior party leaders and office bearers. The AICC takes all important executive and political decisions.Since Indira Gandhi formed Congress (I) in 1978, the President of the Indian National Congress has effectively been: the party's national leader, head of the organisation, head of the Working Committee and all chief Congress committees, chief spokesman, and Congress' choice for Prime Minister of India. Constitutionally, the president is elected by the PCCs and members of the AICC; however, this procedure has often been by-passed by the Working Committee, which has elected its own candidate.
The Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) consists of elected MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.There is also a Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader in each state. The CLP consists of all Congress Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in each state. In cases of states where the Congress is single-handedly ruling the government, the CLP leader is the Chief Minister.Other directly affiliated groups include: the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the Indian Youth Congress — the party's youth wing, the Indian National Trade Union Congress, Mahila Congress, its women's division, and Congress Seva Dal—its voluntary organisation.

List of current INC and UPA governments

State/UT Chief Minister Party/alliance partner CM since Seats in Assembly Last election
Mizoram Lal Thanhawla INC 11 December 2008 33/40 25 November 2013
Karnataka Siddaramaiah INC 13 May 2013 122/225 5 May 2013
Puducherry V. Narayanasamy INC 6 June 2016 17/30 16 May 2016
Punjab Amarinder Singh INC 16 March 2017 77/117 4 February 2017

List of Prime Ministers

No. Prime Ministers Year Duration Constituency
1 Jawaharlal Nehru 1947–64 17 years Phulpur
2 Gulzarilal Nanda
(Acting Prime Minister)
May–June 1964; January 1966 26 days Sabarkantha
3 Lal Bahadur Shastri 1964–66 2 years Allahabad
4 Indira Gandhi 1966–77, 1980–84 16 years Rajya Sabha, Rae Bareli,Medak
5 Rajiv Gandhi 1984–89 5 years Amethi
6 P. V. Narasimha Rao 1991–96 5 years Nandyal
7 Manmohan Singh 2004–14 10 years Assam,Rajya Sabha

List of Prime Ministers (former Congress members)

A majority of non-Congress prime ministers of India are former Congress members.

No. Prime Ministers Year Duration Constituency
1 Morarji Desai 1977–79 2 years Surat
2 Charan Singh July 1979; January 1980 170 days Baghpat
3 V. P. Singh 1989–90 1 year Fatehpur
4 Chandra Shekhar 1990 223 Days Ballia
5 H. D. Deve Gowda 1996–97 1 year Karnataka,Rajya Sabha
6 I. K. Gujral 1997–98 1 year Rajya Sabha