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Indian History

Important Indian National Congress Sessions

  • 15 Jun 2020
  • 6 min read


  • The Indian National Congress was founded at Bombay in December 1885.
  • The early leadership – Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozeshah Mehta, Badruddin Tyabji, W.C. Bonnerji, Surendranath Banerji, Romesh Chandra Dutt, S. Subramania Iyer, among others – was largely from Bombay and Calcutta.
  • A retired British official, A.O. Hume, also played a part in bringing Indians from the various regions together.
  • Formation of Indian National Congress was an effort in the direction of promoting the process of nation building.
  • In an effort to reach all regions, it was decided to rotate the Congress session among different parts of the country.
  • The President belonged to a region other than where the Congress session was being held.


  • First Session: held at Bombay in 1885. President: W.C. Bannerjee
    • Formation of Indian National Congress.
  • Second Session: held at Calcutta in 1886. President: Dadabhai Naoroji
  • Third Session: held at Madras in 1887. President: Syed Badruddin Tyabji, first muslim President.
  • Fourth Session: held at Allahabad in 1888. President: George Yule, first English President.
  • 1896: Calcutta. President: Rahimtullah Sayani
    • National Song ‘Vande Mataram’ sung for the first time by Rabindranath Tagore.
  • 1899: Lucknow. President: Romesh Chandra Dutt.
    • Demand for permanent fixation of Land revenue
  • 1901: Calcutta. President: Dinshaw E.Wacha
    • First time Gandhiji appeared on the Congress platform
  • 1905: Benaras. President: Gopal Krishan Gokhale
  • 1906: Calcutta. President: Dadabhai Naoroji
    • Adopted four resolutions on: Swaraj (Self Government), Boycott Movement, Swadeshi & National Education
  • 1907: Surat. President: Rash Bihari Ghosh
    • Split in Congress- Moderates & Extremist
    • Adjournment of Session
  • 1910: Allahabad. President: Sir William Wedderburn
    • M.A Jinnah decried the separate electorate system introduced by act of 1909
  • 1911: Calcutta. President: B.N. Dhar
    • First time recital of Jan-Gan-Man in Congress session
  • 1915: Bombay. President: Sir S.P. Sinha
    • Constitution of the Congress was altered to admit the delegates from the extremist section
  • 1916: Lucknow. President: A.C. Majumdar
    • Unity between two factions-Moderates and Extremists of Congress
    • Lucknow Pact signed between Congress and Muslim League to build political consensus
  • 1917: Calcutta. President: Annie Besant, First Woman President of Congress
  • 1918 (Special session): Bombay. President: Syed Hasan Imam
  • 1919: Amritsar. President: Motilal Nehru
    • Congress extended support to Khilafat Movement
  • 1920 (Special Session): Calcutta. President: Lala Lajpat Rai
    • Mahatma Gandhi moved the Non cooperation resolution
  • 1920: Nagpur. President: C. Vijayaraghavachariar
    • Reconstitution of Working committees of Congress on Linguistic basis
    • MA Jinnah left the Indian National Congress
  • 1922: Gaya. President: C.R. Das
    • CR Das and other leaders broke away from INC
    • Formation of Swaraj Party
  • 1924: Belgaum. President: M.K. Gandhi
    • Only Session presided over by Mahatma Gandhi
  • 1925: Kanpur. President: Sarojini Naidu, First Indian Woman President
  • 1927: Madras. President: Dr. M.A. Ansari
    • Passed a resolution against the use of Indian troops in China, Iran and Mesopotamia.
    • Passed a resolution against boycott of Simon Commission
    • Adoption of resolution on Purna Swaraj
  • 1928: Calcutta. President: Motilal Nehru
    • Formation of All India Youth Congress
  • 1929: Lahore. President: Jawahar Lal Nehru
  • 1931: Karachi. President: Vallabhbhai Patel
    • Resolutions on Fundamental Rights and National Economic Programme
    • Endorsement of Gandhi-Irwin pact
    • Gandhi nominated to represent INC in the Second Round Table Conference to be held in London
  • 1934: Bombay. President: Rajendra Prasad
    • Amendment in the Constitution of Congress
  • 1936: Lucknow. President: Jawahar Lal Nehru
    • Push towards socialist ideas by Jawahar Lal Nehru
  • 1937: Faizpur. President: Jawahar Lal Nehru
    • First Session to be held in a village
  • 1938: Haripura. President: Subhas Chandra Bose
    • National Planning Committee set up under Jawahar Lal Nehru.
  • 1939: Tripuri. President: Rajendra Prasad
    • Subhas Chandra Bose was re-elected but had to resign
    • Rajendra Prasad was appointed in his place
    • Subhash Chandra Bose formed Forward Bloc
  • 1940: Ramgarh. President: Abul Kalam Azad
    • Civil Disobedience movement to be launched at appropriate time and circumstances.
  • 1941–45: This Period is marked by events i.e. Quit India movement, RIN Mutiny & INA trials.
    • Phase of constitutional negotiations such as Cripps Mission, Wavell Plan and Cabinet Mission.
    • On account of these events during this phase no congress session was held.
  • 1946: Meerut. President: J.B Kripalani
    • Last session before independence
    • J.B Kriplani was the president of INC at independence.

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