Important Sessions of Indian National Congress – UPSC

Indian National Congress (INC) was formed on 28 December 1885 by A. O. Hume, along with Dadabhai Naoraji and Dinshaw Edulji Wacha at Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay. Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee presided over the first session of INC, attended by 72 delegates from all over the country. The first session started on 28 December and continued till 31 December 1885. Hume assumed the office of the General Secretary. Hereafter, Congress decided to meet every year in December in a different part of the country.

Important Facts about Indian National Congress

  • Lord Dufferin was the Viceroy of India when INC was formed.
  • Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee was the president of the first session of the Indian National Congress held in 1885.
  • Dadhabhai Naoroji was the first Parsi President of the Indian National Congress. He also presided over the second session of the Indian National Congress held in Calcutta in 1886. He became the Congress President three times.
  • Badruddin Tyabji was the first Muslim President of the Indian National Congress, presided over the third INC session held in 1887 in Madras.
  • George Yule was the first European president of the Indian National Congress, who presided over the fourth INC session held in 1888 in Allahabad.
  • Kadambini Ganguly was the first woman graduate of Calcutta University who addressed the Congress session in 1890 held in Calcutta.
  • Rahimtulla M. Sayani was the second Muslim President of the Indian National Congress, who served as president of the INC session held in 1896 in Calcutta.
  • Annie Beasant was the first female president of the Indian National Congress presided over the INC session of 1917 held in Calcutta.
  • Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman president of the Indian National Congress, presided over the INC session of 1925 held in Kanpur.
  • Maulana Abul Kalam Azad became the Youngest person to serve as the President of INC at the age of 35 in 1923.
  • Hakim Ajmal Khan was the only person to be appointed as the President of INC, All India Muslim League, and All India Khilafat Committee.
  • Acharya J. B. Kripalani presided over the last INC session before the Indian Independence, held in Meerut in 1946.

Important Sessions of INC

1885BombayW. C. Bonnerjee
  • First Session attended by 72 delegates from across the country.

  • Objectives of the INC outlined.
  • W. C. Bonnerjee outlined the four Major objectives of INC:
    1) To promote personal intimacy and communication among Indians.
    2) To eradicate all primordial loyalties based on religion, caste, race, sex, language.
    3) To educate the public opinion & media in India and Britain regarding the political, social, and economic aspirations of Indians.
    4) To decide the methodology of struggle against the colonial and imperialist design of government.
    1886CalcuttaDadhabhai Naoroji
  • The second session was attended by 436 delegates.

  • The merger of the Indian National Congress and the Indian National Conference
  • 1887MadrasBadruddin Tyabji
  • Presided over by the first Muslim President of INC.

  • Attended by 607 delegates.

  • An appeal was made to the Muslims to join hands with other national leaders.
  • 1888AllahabadGeorge Yule
  • Presided over by the First English president.

  • Attended by 1248 delegates.
  • 1889BombaySir William Wedderburn
    1890CalcuttaPheroz Shah MehtaKadambini Ganguli was the first woman graduate of Calcutta University to address the INC session.
    1891NagpurP. Ananda Charlu
    1892AllahabadW. C. Bonnerjee
    1893LahoreDadabhai Naoroji
    1894MadrasAlfred Webb
    1895PoonaSurendranath Banerjea
    1896CalcuttaRahimtulla M. SayaniThe National song ‘Vande Mataram’ was sung for the first time by Rabindranath Tagore.
    1897AmravatiC. Sankaran Nair
    1898MadrasAnanda Mohan Bose
    1899LucknowRomesh Chandra DuttDemand for permanent fixation of land revenue.
    1900LahoreN. G. Chandavarkar
    1901CalcuttaDinshaw E. Wacha
    1902AhmedabadSurendranath Banerjea
    1903MadrasLal Mohan Ghosh
    1904BombaySir Henry Cotton.
    1905BenarasGopal Krishna GokhaleResentment was shown against the Partition of Bengal.
    Formal Proclamation of the Swadeshi movement against the government.
    1906CalcuttaDadabhain Naoroji
  • The word ‘Swaraj’ was mentioned for the first time. Dadabhai Naoroji, in his Presidential address, used the word Swaraj.

  • The following four resolutions were adopted:
  • 1) Resolution of Self Government (Swaraj).
    2) Resolution on Swadeshi.
    3) Resolution on Boycott.
    4) Resolution on National Education.
    1907SuratRash Behari GhoshThe ‘Surat Split’- the Congress splits into the Moderates and the Extremists.
    Adjournment of Session.
    1908MadrasRash Behari GhoshThe previous session continued.
    The Constitution of the INC was drawn.
    1909LahoreMadan Mohan MalaviyaIndian Councils Act, 1909.
    INC expressed disapproval over the formation of separate electorates based on religion as given in the Indian Councils Act, 1909.
    1910AllahabadSir William Wedderburn
    1911CalcuttaBishan Narayan DarThe National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was sung for the first time. Sarala Devi Chaudhurani intoned the song with a few school students.
    1912Bankipur (Patna)Raghunath Narasinha Mudholkar
    1913KarachiSyed Mohammed
    1914MadrasBhupendra Nath Basu
    1915BombayS. P. SinhaThe Constitution of the INC altered to admit the delegates from the extremist section.
    1916LucknowA. C. Majumdar
  • Reunion of Congress factions. Extremists and Moderates reunited after the Surat split.

  • Joint session with the Indian Muslim League (IML). The Lucknow Pact was signed between INC and IML.
  • 1917CalcuttaAnnie BesantAnnie Besant was the first woman President of INC.
    1918Bombay (special session held in August 1918)Syed Hasan Imam
  • Special Session convened to deliberate the contentious Montagu- Chelmsford Reforms scheme.

  • Resolution on Women’s voting rights by Sarala Devi Chaudhurani.
  • 1918DelhiModan Mohan Malviya The second split in Congress on the issue of Montague’s declaration.
    The moderates, led by Surendranath Banerjee, supported the Montague declaration in November 1918.
    1919Amritsar Motilal Nehru
  • Strongly condemned the Jallianwalla Massacre.

  • Congress extended support to the Khilafat movement.

  • New Constitution of INC framed.
  • 1920Calcutta (special session in September 1920)Lala Lajpat RaiMahatma Gandhi moved the Non-Cooperation Resolution.
    1920NagpurC. Vijayaraghavachariar
  • Change in the Constitution of INC.

  • Congress Working Committee (CWC) was set up, consisting of 15 members.
  • 1921AhmedabadHakim Ajmal Khan (acting president for C. R. Das)
    1922GayaC. R. Das
  • C. R. Das and other leaders broke away from INC.

  • Formation of Swaraj Party with C. R. Das as the president and Motilal Nehru as its secretary.
  • 1923KakinadaMaulana Abul Kalam AzadMaulana Azad was the youngest Congress President.
    1924BelgaumM. K. GandhiOnly INC session presided over by Mahatma Gandhi.
    1925KanpurSarojini NaiduSarojini Naidu was the first Indian Woman President of INC.
    1926GauhatiS. Srinivasa Iyengar
    1927MadrasM. A. Ansari
  • Independence Resolution was adopted for the first time.

  • Resolved to boycott the Simon Commission.
  • 1928CalcuttaMotilal NehruThe first All India Youth Congress was formed.
    1929LahoreJawaharlal Nehru
  • Resolution for ‘Poorna Swaraj’ was passed.

  • Authorized
  • the Working Committee to launch the Civil Disobedience Movement.
    1931KarachiVallabhbhai Patel
  • Congress adopted the resolution on Fundamental Rights and the National Economic Programme.

  • Endorsement of Gandhi-Irwin pact.

  • Gandhi Ji was nominated to represent INC in the Second Round Table Conference held in London.
  • 1932DelhiAmrit Ranchhorddas Seth
    1933CalcuttaNellie Sengupta
    1934BombayRajendra PrasadINC first time demanded the separate Constituent Assembly to frame the Constitution of India.
    1936LucknowJawaharlal NehruThe president urged Congress to adopt socialism as its goal.
    1937FaizpurJawaharlal Nehru
  • First Session to be held in a village.

  • INC and All India Kisan Sabha joint session.
  • 1938HaripuraSubhas Chandra BoseNational Planning Committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Jawaharlal Nehru.
    1939Tripura Subhas Chandra Bose S. C. Bose was re-elected as President but had to resign since Gandhi Ji supported Pattabhi Sitaramayya.
    Rajendra Prasad took over as president after S. C. Bose resigned.
    Subhas Chandra Bose formed the Forward Bloc party.
    1940RamgarhMaulana Abul Kalam Azad
    1946MeerutAcharya J. B. KripalaniLast session of INC before Independence.
    1948JaipurPattabhi SitaramanyyaFirst INC session after Independence.
    1950NasikPurushottam Das TondonPurushottam Das Tandon resigned in September 1951, after which Jawaharlal Nehru became the President.

    The INC Sessions for the years 1930, 1935, and 1941-45 could not be held.

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