Indian National Congress (INC), most popularly known as Congress Party, is one of the two major political parties in India. INC is the largest and one of the oldest democratic parties in the world. Founded in 1885 by some veteran Theosophical Society members such as Dadabhai Naoroji, Surendranath Banerjee, Manmohan Ghose, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Dinshaw Wacha, William Wedderburn, A. O. Hume and presided by Womesh Chandra Banerjee with a view to obtain a greater share in government for educated Indians.
By the year 1907, INC had become fully active in independence movement and had split in two factions; one Garam Dal ‘hot faction’ which was headed the extremist Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Naram Dal ‘soft faction’ supported by Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
Congress was the first integrated mass organization in the country which had brought millions of people together to carry out Independence Movement, INC was then supported by 15 million members in its struggle against British rule in India. It had gathered as many as 70 million participants then.
INC was the first ruling party of India under hegemony of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi after total independence in 1947. Nehru led the party in consecutive elections in 1952, 1957, and 1962. After Nehru’s death Lal Bahadur Shastri was chaired as the Prime Minister of India, for a short period though. In 1966, after death of Mr. Shastri, Indira Gandhi (Nehru’s daughter) was introduced as the prime minister of India. In 1977 Congress was divided in two factions one which supported Indira Gandhi was named as Congress (I), wherein ‘I’ stands for Indira. The party faced a defeat in general election but soon return in power in 1980 elections. It was 1984 when Indira Gandhi was assassinated and her son Rajiv was crowned as the Prime Minister of India.