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INC

The Indian National Congress (referred to as “INC” in this website, as part of the standard style of Sirf News, unlike “the Congress” that most other news mediums refer to it as) is a political party in India with widespread roots. Founded in 1885 by a foreigner AO Hume, it was the first modern nationalist movement of as big a scale to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa — whereas there had been many revolutionaries as well as non-violent freedom fighters in the country before and during the existence of the INC at the time of the British imperial rule. From the late 19th century, and especially after 1920, under the leadership of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the INC became the principal leader of the Indian independence movement. It led India to a transfer of power from Britain on 15 August 1947 — celebrated in India as its Independence Day — and powerfully influenced other anti-colonial nationalist movements in the British Empire.

The INC is one of the two major political parties in India, along with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The INC is a “big tent” party whose social-democratic platform is generally considered in the centre to centre-left of Indian politics. The INC’s social policy is based purportedly on the Gandhian principle of Sarvodaya, the uplift of all sections of society, which involves the improvement of the lives of economically underprivileged and socially marginalised people.

After India’s independence in 1947, the INC formed the union government of India and many state governments of India. While it seeks pride in being the oldest Indian political party and additionally in fighting for India’s freedom from the British Empire, today’s INC is what is left of the British era after several defections and splitting in the party through the years of dominance of prime ministers of India from the party, namely Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. As of 2019, in the 17 general elections since independence, it won an outright majority on seven occasions and led the ruling coalition a further three times, heading the central government for more than 54 years. There have been six prime ministers from the party, the first being Jawaharlal Nehru (1947–1964), and the most recent Manmohan Singh (2004–2014).

Although it did not fare well in the last two general elections in India in 2014 and 2019, it remains one of two major, nationwide political parties in India, along with the purportedly pro-Hindu BJP. In the 2014 general election, the INC had its poorest post-independence general election performance, winning only 44 seats of the 543-member Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Parliament of India).