oldest Indian political party, the Indian National Congress was formed
in 1885 and was the most powerful force behind the country's struggle
for independence It also held power for most years after independence.
The party has also been instrumental in the making or fall of
non-Congress governments at the centre when it was out of power.
Party boasts of the leadership of what can be said the first political
family of the country. The dynasty goes back to the time of Jawaharlal
Nehru, India's first Prime Minister. His daughter, Indira Gandhi, active
during the years of the freedom struggle was the natural heir to the
throne. The suspension of democratic institutions during emergency
earned her many critics and also led to the birth of many anti-Congress
factions. Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984. Rajiv Gandhi, then a
political novice, swept the polls through the apparent sympathy wave.
His tragic assassination again brought the Congress to power in 1991,
with PV Narasimha Rao as the Prime Minister. The Congress popularity
nose-dived mainly due to the involvement of its leaders, including
Narasimha Rao, in the vote buying case during a confidence vote and
other corruption charges.
In 1999 Mrs. Sonia Gandhi entered politics and took the reins of the
party. This was the time when the party most needed the support of the
Nehru -Gandhi Family. Now she has matured in the game and is again
leading the party in General Elections 2004. The party in her leadership
plans the comeback to power.
The main agendas for the elections are