Presidents of the Indian National Congress list

President of the Indian National Congress list is the highest command of the Indian National Congress (INC), a political party in India. Constitutionally, the president is elected by an electoral college composed of members drawn from the Pradesh Congress Committees and members of the all India Congress Committee (AICC). In the event of any emergency because of any cause such as the death or resignation of the president elected as above, the most senior General Secretary discharges the routine functions of the president until the Working Committee appoints a provisional president pending the election of a regular president by the AICC. The president of the party has effectively been the party’s national leader, head of the party’s organisation, head of the Working Committee, the chief spokesman, and all chief Congress committees.

After the party’s foundation in December 1885, Womesh Chunder Bonnerjee became its first president. From 1885 to 1933, the presidency had a term of one year only. From 1933 onwards, there was no such fixed term for the president. During Jawaharlal Nehru‘s premiership, he rarely held the Presidency of INC, even though he was always head of the Legislative Party. Despite being a party with a structure, Congress under Indira Gandhi did not hold any organisational elections after 1978. In 1978, Gandhi split from the INC and formed a new opposition party, popularly called Congress (I), which the national election commission declared to be the real Indian National Congress for the 1984 general election. Gandhi institutionalised the practice of having the same person as the Congress President and the Prime Minister of India after the formation of Congress (I).  Her successors Rajiv Gandhi and P. V. Narasimha Rao also continued that practice. Nonetheless, in 2004, when the Congress was voted back into power, Manmohan Singh became the first Prime Minister not to be the president of the party since establishment of the practice of the president holding both positions.

A total of 61 people have served as the president of the Indian National Congress since its formation. Sonia Gandhi is the longest serving president of the party, having held the office for over twenty years from 1998 to 2017 and since 2019.

List of party presidents

The founding years (1885–1900)

No.Year(s) of PresidencyNamePlace of Conference
11885Womesh Chandra BonnerjeeBombay
21886Dadabhai NaorojiCalcutta
31887Badruddin TyabjiMadras
41888George YuleAllahabad
51889William WedderburnBombay
61890Pherozeshah MehtaCalcutta
71891Panapakkam AnandacharluNagpur
81892Womesh Chandra BonnerjeeAllahabad
91893Dadabhai NaorojiLahore
101894Alfred WebbMadras
111895Surendranath BanerjeePoona
121896Rahimtulla M. SayaniCalcutta
131897C. Sankaran NairAmaravati
141898Anandamohan BoseMadras
151899Romesh Chunder DuttLucknow
161900N. G. ChandavarkarLahore

The pre-independence era (1901–1947)

No.Year(s) of PresidencyNamePlace of Conference
171901Dinshaw Edulji WachaCalcutta
181902Surendranath BanerjeeAhmedabad
191903Lalmohan GhoshMadras
201904Henry John Stedman CottonBombay
211905Gopal Krishna GokhaleBanaras
221906Dadabhai NaorojiCalcutta
231907Rashbihari GhoshSurat
241908Rashbihari GhoshMadras
251909Madan Mohan MalaviyaLahore
261910William WedderburnAllahabad
271911Bishan Narayan DarCalcutta
281912Raghunath Narasinha MudholkarBankipore
291913Nawab Syed Muhammad BahadurKarachi
301914Bhupendra Nath BoseMadras
311915Satyendra Prasanno SinhaBombay
321916Ambica Charan MazumdarLucknow
331917Annie BesantCalcutta
341918Madan Mohan MalaviyaDelhi
351918Syed Hasan ImamBombay (special session)
361919Motilal NehruAmritsar
371920Lala Lajpat RaiCalcutta
381920C. VijayaraghavachariarNagpur (special session)
391921Hakim Ajmal KhanAhmedabad
401922Chittaranjan DasGaya
411923Mohammad Ali JouharKakinada
421923Abul Kalam AzadDelhi (Special Session)
431924Mahatma GandhiBelgaum
441925Sarojini NaiduKanpur
451926S. Srinivasa IyengarGuwahati
461927Mukhtar Ahmed AnsariMadras
471928Motilal NehruCalcutta
481929Jawaharlal NehruLahore
491930Jawaharlal NehruKarachi
501931Vallabhbhai PatelKarachi
511932Madan Mohan MalaviyaDelhi
521933Nellie SenguptaCalcutta
531934Rajendra PrasadBombay
541935Rajendra PrasadLucknow
551936Jawaharlal NehruLahore
561937Jawaharlal NehruFaizpur
571938Subhas Chandra BoseHaripura
581939Subhas Chandra BoseJabalpur
591939 (March)Rajendra PrasadTripuri
601940–46Abul Kalam AzadRamgarh
611946–47J. B. KripalaniMeerut

The post-independence era (1948–present)

No.Year(s) of PresidencyNamePlace of Conference
621948–1949Bhogaraju Pattabhi SitaramayyaJaipur
631950Purushottam Das TandonNasik
641951–1952Jawaharlal NehruDelhi
651953Jawaharlal NehruHyderabad
661954Jawaharlal NehruKalyani
671955U. N. DhebarAvadi
681956U. N. DhebarAmritsar
691957U. N. DhebarIndore
701958U. N. DhebarGauhati
711959U. N. DhebarNagpur
721959Indira GandhiDelhi (special session)
731960Neelam Sanjiva ReddyBangalore
741961Neelam Sanjiva ReddyBhavnagar
751962–1963Neelam Sanjiva ReddyPatna
761964K. KamarajBhubaneswar
771965K. KamarajDurgapur
781966–1967K. KamarajJaipur
791968S. NijalingappaHyderabad
801969S. NijalingappaFaridabad
811970–1971Jagjivan RamBombay
821972–74Shankar Dayal SharmaCalcutta
831975–77Devakanta BaruaChandigarh
841978–83Indira GandhiNew Delhi
851983Indira GandhiCalcutta
861985–1991Rajiv GandhiBombay
871992P. V. Narasimha RaoTirupati
881993P. V. Narasimha RaoSurajkund
891994P. V. Narasimha RaoDelhi
901996–1998Sitaram KesriCalcutta
911998–2001Sonia GandhiNew Delhi
922001–2004Sonia GandhiBangalore
932004–2006Sonia GandhiNew Delhi
942006–2010Sonia GandhiHyderabad
952010–2017Sonia GandhiNew Delhi
962017–2019Rahul GandhiNew Delhi
972019–presentSonia GandhiJaipur
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