The Indian National Congress (often referred to as the Congress party) has undergone numerous splits and factional divisions since India’s independence in 1947. The key instances of the Congress party breaking apart since 1947 are listed below:
The Congress party experienced its first significant split in 1969. It was the result of ideological and leadership differences between the senior party members known as the “Syndicate” and the then-prime minister, Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi established a brand-new organisation known as the “Congress (R)” or “Congress (Requisitionists).”
Split of 1978: The Janata Party, which was founded by a group of Congress members under the leadership of former prime minister Morarji Desai, underwent another significant split in 1978. Internal dissension against Indira Gandhi’s leadership was the main cause of this split.
Split of 1979: In 1979, the Congress party experienced yet another split when a group under the leadership of eminent Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram split off to found the Congress for Democracy. Disagreements within the party over its position on social justice issues led to this split.
Split of 1986: In 1986, when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister, the Congress party experienced yet another significant split. The Jan Morcha, which was founded by Arun Nehru, V.P. Singh, and other former Congress members, later gave rise to the Janata Dal. Differences in governance and accusations of corruption were major factors in this split.
Split in 1996: In 1996, the Congress party experienced a second split when a number of its members, led by Sharad Pawar, P.A. Sangma, and Tariq Anwar, rebelled against Sonia Gandhi’s ethnicity and established the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Due to this split, Sonia Gandhi’s suitability as prime minister was called into question.
Among the most significant divisions to affect the Indian National Congress since 1947 are those mentioned above. It’s crucial to remember that the party has experienced smaller factional splits(like Kerala Congress, Tamila Manila Congress & YSR Congress) and few realignments over the years as well.