Indian National Congress President Election: Interesting Facts You Need to Know

INC- Congress President Election Interesting Facts, History

After a lot of chaos and uncomfortable questions raised by the senior members internally, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) has finally decided that there will be Congress President election in June 2021

Now that there will be a newly elected Congress President soon, let us give out some of the very intriguing facts and interesting history about President elections in Congress –

From its Inception in 1885 till 1933, The President Term Was Only 1 Year

In the initial 48 years, the Congress presidency had a term of only a year and the post rotated among the prominent members of the party every year. Successive term by the same individual was something that wasn’t liked by the members and so wasn’t the norm either.

Sir Willian Wedderburn, The Co-Founder of INC Was Elected Congress President Twice

Although Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee or Umesh Chandra Bannerjee became the very first Congress President in 1885 for a year, Sir Willian Wedderburn, one of co-founders of Indian National Congress was elected Congress President twice, once in 1889 and then in 1910.

Purushottam Das Tandon Despite Having Huge Differences with Jawaharlal Nehru Became Congress President in 1950

With so many contenders and so many individuals wanting to hold the position, the Indian National Congress President elections have been never easy to win. Despite having opposing views and differences with Jawahar Lal Nehru, Purushottam Das Tandon, was elected as Congress President in 1950. Tandon not only opposed partition of India but also supported the idea of ‘Hindi’ as a national language. He was fondly called Rajarishi by Mahatma Gandhi.

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Indira Gandhi Brought a New Norm

After Indira Gandhi formed Congress (I) in 1978, she institutionalized the practice of having the same individual as the Congress President and the Prime Minister of India. The practice was continued by her son Rajiv Gandhi too but it couldn’t continue thereafter.

In 2000 Congress President Election, Sonia Gandhi Was Challenged by Jitendra Prasada

Sonia Gandhi joined the Congress Party in 1997 in Calcutta session and became a party President in 1998 after the leaders within the party asked her to. Post which, senior leader Sharad Pawar, Tariq Anwar and P A Sangma decided to quit – leading to the formation of NCP – Nationalist Congress Party.  

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2 years later the incumbent Sonia Gandhi was challenged by Jitendra Prasada, a senior Congress leader and also a political advisor to Rajiv Gandhi and PV Narsimha Rao. However, Prasada who got 1.02% votes was defeated by Sonia Gandhi in the 2000 Congress Presidential elections.

Sonia Gandhi is the Longest Serving Indian National Congress President

From 1998 to 2017, Sonia Gandhi continued to remain the party President for more than two decades. She is the longest serving Congress President and as the nation waits to see the result of Congress President Election in June 2021, she continues to be the interim Congress President post Rahul Gandhi’s resignation from the post in 2019.

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Now that the country isn’t much in favour of the Gandhis’ and a lot of awkwardness in the party internally, it would be really interesting to see who will become the next Congress President after almost 25 years of Sonia Gandhi’s ascendancy.

Featured Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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