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List of Indian Congress Sessions – Places, Presidents and Importance


These are some of the most important Indian National Congress sessions held during our struggle for independence. This aggregated list has been put to help you revisit some of the important trivias/ facts associated with these sessions as they may come in your IAS Prelims.

We have already seen questions around Anne Besant, Badaruddin Tyabji in recent years. There is no telling when UPSC takes a fancy to these INC sessions and ask you some more on the lines of:

  • Which of these president held the post thrice?
  • Which year did INC have two sessions?
  • Who was the first female president of INC?
  • Questions around place of session on famous splits, mending of relations etc.

List of important Congress Sessions and their presidents

Year Place President Important Trivia
1885 Bombay W.C.Banerjee – 1st Session of Congress

– Lord Dufferin was the Viceroy of British India

– W.C.Banerjee was the president of the Indian National Congress again in the 1892 session in Allahabad.

1886 Calcutta Dadabhai Naoroji – Dadabhai Naoroji is fondly called as the “Grand Old Man of India”

– He got a resolution passed in British Parliament for holding preliminary examinations for the I.C.S. in India and England simultaneously

– Thrice he was elected to the post of the President of the Indian National Congress, in 1886, 1893 and in 1906

– The Congress’ demand for swaraj (self-rule) was first expressed publicly by him in his presidential address in 1906.

1887 Madras Badruddin Tyabji – 1st Muslim president of INC

– In 1902, he became the first Indian to hold the post of Chief Justice in Mumbai

– He was also active in women’s emancipation and worked to weaken the zenana system

1888 Allahabad George Yule – 1st session to be presided by an Englishman

– There were more! Sir William Wedderburn presided over at the 1889 session

1890 Calcutta Pherozeshah Mehta – Mehta is remembered mainly as founder of the modern Bombay Municipal Corporation which he fostered and served in a distinguished manner for nearly half a century
1896 Kolkata Rahimtulla M Sayani The National Song, Vande Mataram was sung for the first time
1907 Surat Rashbihari Ghosh The INC split into two, one consisting of Moderates, led by Gokhale and the other consisting of Extremists, led by Tilak
1911 Kolkata Pandit Bishan Narayan Das The National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana was sung for the first time
1916 Lucknow Ambica Charan Mazumdar – Joint session with Muslim league in which the historic Lucknow pact was signed

– Muhammad Ali Jinnah, then a member of the Congress as well as the League, made both the parties reach an agreement to pressure the British government to adopt a more liberal approach to India and give Indians more authority to run their country, besides safeguarding basic Muslim demands

– The Lucknow Pact also established cordial relations between the two prominent groups of the Indian National Congress – the “hot faction” led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and the moderates led by Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

1917 Kolkata Annie Besant – 1st session to be presided by a Lady
1918 Bombay and Delhi 2 presidents! – 1st President- Syed Hasan Imam

– 2nd President- Madan Mohan Malaviya

1924 Belgaum Mahatma Gandhi
1925 Kanpur Sarojini Naidu – 1st session to be presided by an Indian lady
1929 Lahore Pt Jawaharlal Nehru – The decision to launch a civil disobedience movement to achieve complete independence (Poorna Swaraj) and to observe 26 Jan as Independence Day was taken

– Nehru became the president for the first time

1938 Haripura Subhash Chandra Bose – He was the president twice. Again in 1939
1946 Meerut Acharya JB Kripalani – Last pre ­independence session of the INC.

If you think we missed an important one, do drop in a comment along with its importance.

Questions, suggestions and comments


  1. Profile photo of jitendra singh jitendra singh

    2 special session 1920 (kolkata president by lala lajpat rai) and 1923 ( delhi by Abdul kalam ajad)

    1. Profile photo of jitendra singh jitendra singh

      1937 first session in village fairpur by JLNehru

  2. Profile photo of Krishna Kunal Krishna Kunal

    1906 deserved separate row. so did Tripuri session of 1938
    Nehru was president of congress in 1929,1930,1951-52,1953
    1931 – Karachi session – Sardar Patel – Resolution on Fundamental Rights and Economic Policy (Nehru) + Gandhiji’s participation in 2nd RTC confirmed.

    1. Profile photo of Krishna Kunal Krishna Kunal

      1887 – simultaneously and at same venue(Madras) , the social reform cell of INC , Indian Social Conference was founded by MG Ranade.

    2. Profile photo of Krishna Kunal Krishna Kunal

      INC President for Consecutive terms : (pre-Independence)
      Rasbehari Ghosh (1907,08)
      Jawahar Lal Nehru(1929,30 * technically not 2)
      Jawahar Lal Nehru (1936,37)
      SC Bose(1938,39)

  3. Profile photo of Yousuf Sultan Yousuf Sultan

    1928 – Moti lal Nehru – Calcutta
    All India youth Congress was established

  4. Profile photo of Pratik Kumar Pratik Kumar

    First Post independence session was held @ Jaipur in 1948 presided by Pattabhi Sitaramayya.

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