Congress turns 133: 10 facts about India's oldest political party

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Congress turns 133: Sonia Gandhi during party's foundation day celebration
Congress turns 133: Sonia Gandhi during party's foundation day celebration

New Delhi : The Congress, oldest political party in India, turns 133 years old on Thursday. Ruling India for several years, the party has gone through many ups and downs; their latest fight is to remove the 'corrupt' tag they received during last decade.

Newly-elected Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressed leaders on the occasion of 133rd Foundation day. He said, "The central idea of the Congress party is truth, we accept the truth, we work for the truth, we fight for the truth."

Check out 10 quick facts about the Congress party.

1: The Congress Party was founded in 1885. Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee was the first president of the Congress.

2: It was the only political party to represent people from India during pre-Independence era. During the ending phase of British Era, it came under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi, who steered historic movements of the Indian freedom struggle.

3: Congress leader Jawahar Lal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India and held the position for over 17 years.

4: Indira Gandhi, wife of Jawahar Lal Nehru, became the first woman Prime Minister of India. She held the position for 15 years before she was assassinated in 1984.

5: So far, Congress has two party symbols. In 1885, it had 'two bullocks with plough'.  It was replaced by "right hand" symbol, with palm-side facing front by Indira Gandhi-led Congress in 1978.

6: Rajiv Gandhi became the youngest Prime Minister after he succeeded Indira Gandhi. He was assassinated in 1991 by a suicide bomber from the LTTE.

7: Rajiv Gandhi was succeeded as party leader by PV Narasimha Rao who was elected prime minister in June 1991. He is often referred as the "father of Indian economic reforms".

8: In 1998, Sonia Gandhi (widow of Rajiv Gandhi) became President of the Congress. They were re-elected to power in 2004 General Elections with Manmohan Singh appointed as the Prime Minister of India.

9: First five years build Congress as a strong party, while later five years only tainted the party with scams and corruption tags.

10: In December 2017, Rahul Gandhi took charge as the President of the party and soon after his elevation, Congress gave a tough competition to the arch rival BJP in recently concluded Gujarat Elections.