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Congress Party

Congress Party (officially Indian National Congress) Oldest political party in India, whose fortunes have often been intertwined with the Nehru dynasty. Founded in 1885, Congress was not prominent until after World War I, when ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi transformed it into a mass independence movement, agitating by means of civil disobedience. Jawaharlal Nehru became president of the Congress in 1929. In the 1937 provincial elections it gained power in many states. During World War II (after the British refused to grant self-government) it remained neutral. At independence (1947), Nehru became prime minister. Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi became prime minister in 1966, but in 1969 was challenged by a right wing faction (led by Moraji Desai) causing a split in the party. Indira's Congress (I) suffered a landslide defeat at the elections of 1977. They returned to power in 1979, and in 1984 (after Indira's assassination) her son Rajiv Gandhi became leader, securing the party's re-election in that year. Congress lost the 1989 elections, and Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991. The Congress Party lost the 1996, 1998, and 1999 elections to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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Congress party

Congress party: see Indian National Congress.

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