After the results of 2014 general assembly elections Indian National Congress (INC) faced crisis in finding strong leadership to move ahead. The history of INC’s existence commenced before Independence of India in 1947. As of now the Presidential post of the political party is given to Ms.Sonia Gandhi as interim President. She has been the longest serving party president followed by her mother-in-law Ms.Indira Gandhi. She became the face of the party when her son resigned from the position after a massive victory of the opposition party named as National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Till now INC got over 18 leaders from which over 14 were from non-Nehru-Gandhi family after Independence and some years prior to it. It’s hard to believe the fact that the opposition keeps on shouting that a family is ruling the party in which majority of people came from non-Nehru-Gandhi family.
The timeline of birth of one of the largest party date backs to 1885. A British civil servant Allan Octavian Hume came up with an idea to gather all the educated intellectuals at one committed forum to discuss issues related to development. The main focus of the party was to culminate new concepts on policy making and implement them. One of the interesting fact to know is that the party wasn’t established to fight with the British people to get independent India. Lord Dufferin was the Viceroy of British India when the party got into the breeding grounds for leaders.
After the layouting and designing of the party some conferences were planned to maximize the participation of the leaders in the public domain. In the early stage of the emerging party representatives decided that they will be planning a meeting in Union of Pune but the venue was changed to Bombay later on. As per the records the first meeting of took place at Bombay’s Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College on 28-31 December. A total of 72 delegates took place in the meeting from around the country. The meeting was held under the presidential rule of W.C Bonnerjee. He is termed as the first president of INC in British India. Later he also carried out the session in Allahabad in 1892.
During the period of 1883,1893 Dadabhai Naoroji was the president of Calcutta conference in 1886. In 1893 Lahore session also held under his leadership. Dadabhai was an intellect Parsi, cotton trader and social reformer. He was also termed as Grand Old Man of India.
In 1887 Badruddin Tyabji became the president for Madras conference in the same year.
George Yule took over the position of Tyabji and became the president in 1888 for Allahadbad session. He was considered as the first British president of the newly formed platform.
1889, 1910 William Wedderburn took over the charge for Bombay session and Allahadbad session in the respective years mentioned above.
In 1890 INC got Pherozshah Mehta as the president for the session in Calcutta. Mr. Mehta was a lawyer by profession.
Anandacharlu got a chance to lead a session in 1891 in Nagpur.
Alfred Webb came to the presidential role in 1894 for Madras conference.
Surendranath Banerjee hold the role in 1895 in Poona and in 1892 for the session in Ahemdabad.
In 1896 Rahimtulla M Sayani rule the platform in Calcutta session. He was one of the founding member of INC. He was the follower of Aga Khan and belonged to Khoja community.
C.Sankaran Nair was the party president in Amraoti in year 1897. He is the only Keralite INC every got on the Presidential chair. By profession he was a lawyer, jurist and activist. He was among first few people who called a cry for self-governance.
Barrister Anandamohan Bose ruled the party high command in 1898 in Madras.
In 1899 Romesh Chunder Dutt held the position in Lucknow conference. He was a civil servant, writer and the translator of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Dutt was an economic historian also.
Sir Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar took over the role in 1900 in Lahore session. He was a leading Hindu reformer in western India. He was also a member of justice bench in Bombay High Court.
In 1901 Dinshaw Edulji Wacha planned for the Calcutta session, he was also one of the founder of INC.
1903 Bengali Barrister Lalmohan Ghosh was in rule for Madras session.
In 1904 Henry John Stedman Cotton came into power for Bombay conference. He worked as civil servant and he was sympathetic for the sentiments of Indian Nationalists.
1905 Gopal Krishna Gokhale took the power for Benares conference. He formed a group named Naram Dal, later that broke into two. When Gandhi came to India he joined Gokhale’s group for breeding the movement of independent India.
1907, 1908 Rashbihari Ghosh leaded the conference in Surat and Gujarat resp., he was an activist, lawyer, politician and philanthropist by profession. He was the part of the moderators and strong criticiser of radicalism or extremism.
1909, 1918 Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya presided the party in the sessions in Lahore and Delhi. He is credited with the founding of Benares Hindu University which is Asia’s largest residential university. He was an educationist and was awarded with Bharat Ratna.
1911 Bishan Narayan Dar got the high position for the session of Calcutta.
Rao Bahadur Raghunath Narasinha Mudholkar took the position in 1912 for Bankipore session. He was a strong believer of reforms.
1913 Nawa Syed Muhammad Bahadur headed Lahore’s session. He was the first Muslim sheriff of Madras.
Bhupendra Nath Bose headed INC in 1914 in Madras session.
In 1915 Lord Satyendra Prasanna Sinha became INC president for Bombay session.
Ambica Charan Mazumdar organised a session in Lucknow in 1916. The historical pact between INC and Muslim League was signed in this particular session.
In 1917 Annie Besant became the first woman president of INC for the session in Calcutta. She was a social reformer, sociologist and advocate of Indian self-rule.
Syed Hasan Imam took the position in 1918 for a special session in Bombay. Hasan Imam was also a leader of Khilafat movement.
1919 Motilal Nehru took the seat for Amritsar session and Kolkata session in 1928. Motilal Nehru was a lawyer and often regarded as Nehru-Gandhi patriarch founder. Motilal Nehru played an important part for the independence of the country and he was close to Father of the nation.
In 1920 Lala Lajpat Rai hold the position for Calcuta session. He was regarded as Punjab Kesari. He was the leader for Hindu reform movements and Arya Samaj. He also asked to create two areas as per the Hindu and Muslim Population in the year 1923.
In 1920 C. Vijayaraghavachariar took the role for a special event in Nagpur. He was an orthodox vaishnavite. He was also accused for religious riots but got clearance later on. He played an important role in Swaraj Constitution and Propaganda committee of congress.
Hakim Ajmal Khan got the seat of president in 1921 for Ahemdabad session. He was one of the founder of Jamia Millia Islamia University and Ayuvrvedic and Unani Tibbia medical college. He was INC’s, Khilafat Movement and Muslim League’s president.
In 1922 Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das headed the Gaya conference. He was a lawyer, founding leader of Swaraj Party in Bengal and a member of Indian National Movement.
In 1923 Mohammad Ali Jouhar was the head for Kakinada session.
1923, 140-46 Abul Kalam Azad presided for special session in Delhi, Ramgarh. Maulana Azad was also honoured by Bharat Ratna, he was a poet, journalist, activist and freedom fighter. He founded the University Grants Commission (UGC), IITs, it was his dream to provide free elementary education to all.
In 1924 MK Gandhi got the position for Belagsum session.
1925 Sarojini Naidu took over the Kanpur session.
1926 S. Srinivasa Iyengar did the Gauhati session. He was an advocate.
Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari got the position in 1927 for Madras. He was the president of Muslim League and chancellor of Jamia from 1928-36, he was also one of the founding member.
1929,1930,1936,1937,1946,1951-54 Jawaharlal Nehru termed as head for various sessions in Lahore, Karachi, Lucknow, Faizpur resp. He headed the meetings at Delhi in 1951 and 1952 and in Hyderabad and Calcuta in 1953 and 1954.
1931 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel got the position of head in Karachi session. The discussion endorsed Gandhi-Irwin Pact.
In 1933 Nellie Sengupta was the head for Calcutta session.
1934,1935 Rajendra Prasad became head for Bombay session and Lucknow resp.
1938, 1939 Subhas Chandra Bose took over the role for Haripura session. Then he was elected as the chief of Jabalpur session in 1939 but due to some reasons he had to resign.
In 1947 J.B Kripalani was the president for Meerut session. He was the head when the powers were being submitted to India after the rule of Britian.
1948,1949 Pattabhi Sitaraimayya was the head for Jaipur session. He was the staunch advocate on the divide of provinces on linguistic basis.
In 1950 Purushottam Das Tandon took Nasik session. He demanded that Hindi should be declared as the official language of the country.
1955-59 U.N Dhebar held various sessions in Avadi, Amritsar, Indore, Gauhati and Nagpur.
1959,1978-84 Indira Gandhi was the chief of INC.
1960-63 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy organised several discussion in Bangalore, Bhavnagar and Patna.
1964-67 K.Kamaraj took over various sessions at Bhubaneswar, Durgapur and Jaipur. He played an important role in making Lal Bahadur Shastri the PM of India.
1968-69 S. Nijalingappa he was an integral part of the independence movement and in the unification of Karanataka.
1970,71 Jagjivan Ram he was the leader of the backwards, untouchables, labours and many more.
1972-74 Shankar Dayal Sharma he was also became the president of India later.
1975-77 Devakanta Barua was the head in the emergency period. Later he formed Indian Congress (Socialist).
1985-91 Rajiv Gandhi took over the role later became the PM.
1992-96 PV Narsimha Rao, after sometime he became the PM of India.
1996-98 Sitaram Kesri was the head and he left the party on some controversial terms which are still not disclosed.
1998-2017 Sonia Gandhi, wife of late PM Rajiv Gandhi. She is the longest serving chief for the part. In her leadership the party saw some major victories and some disastrous defeats.
After 2017 Rahul Gandhi took over the position but after defeat in general elections he gave up the position. INC faced a lot of dramatic mode in accepting the resignation from Rahul Gandhi and later accepted it. After the acceptance of resign the party got back to no head to lead in the political world. After several meetings with the close people and senior party leaders party decided to get names from different committes for the suggestions and then the fate for cief position will be decided.
After the decision of several committes party forced Ms. Gandhi to take the position over again but the keeping the higlights undisclosed Sonia Gandhi took the position as an interim chief.