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Ruling party marks 125th anniversary — with plans

December 28, 2010 - MUMBAI

The ruling Indian National Congress Party held its first session on 28 Dec 1885 in Mumbai. It is expected to observe the 125th anniversary by pushing its general secretary, Rahul Gandhi, closer to taking the reins -- most likely as the next Congress candidate for prime minister. Rahul Gandhi, his mother, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are expected at the celebrations. Congress has been in power for 50 of the 62 years since independence.

For the Nehru-Gandhi family, Dec 28 has a significance beyond its commemorative value: for the family-dominated party it also brings back memories of the 1985 centenary show in Bombay (Mumbai) when newly-elected Congress president and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi ceremonially took the center stage in Indian politics. Rajiv Gandhi is Rahul Gandhi's father and Sonia Gandhi's husband. Congress has retained much of the organization developed by the man given to title of Father of the Indian Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. In every Indian state and union territory or pradesh, there is a Pradesh Congress Committee. The provincial unit of the party, it is responsible for directing political campaigns at local and state levels and assisting the campaigns for parliamentary constituencies. Each PCC has a working committee of 10-15 key members, and the state president is the leader of the state unit. The congressmen elected as members of the state's legislative assemblies form the Congress legislature parties in the various state assemblies, and their chairperson is usually the party's nominee for chief minister. The All India Congress Committee is formed of delegates sent from the PCCs around the country. The delegates elect various Congress committees, including the Congress Working Committee, which consists of senior party leaders and office bearers, and takes all important executive and political decisions. The President of the Indian National Congress is in effect the party's national leader, head of the organization, head of the Working Committee and all chief Congress committees, chief spokesman and the Congress choice to become the Prime Minister of India. Constitutionally, the president is to be elected by the vote of the PCCs and members of the AICC. However, this procedure has often been by-passed by the Working Committee, choosing to elect its own candidate as an emergency measure. The Congress Parliamentary Party is the group of elected MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. It is headed by senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee. Since the current Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh is not an elected member of the Lok Sabha, Pranab is the CPP president. Dr.Singh is Leader of the Rajya Sabha. There is also a CLP leader in each state. The CLP (Congress Legislative Party) consists of all MLAs in each state. It also comes under the CPP so Pranab is head of the MLAs also.In cases of states where the Congress is single-handedly ruling the government, the CLP leader is the Chief Minister. ; STORY BY NEWSAHEAD CORRESPONDENT C.BALAJI, WHO IS AVAILABLE FOR FREELANCE ASSIGNMENTS IN INDIA AND THE REGION. email: ;mohanbalaji20032004@yahoo.co.in

India's JFK Junior (Global Post 8 Sep 2010)

The Quiet Revolutionary (Newsweek 7 Jun 2009)

Birth of Indian National Congress (Indianetzone.com)

India gives Congress & UPA a clear mandate (the hindu.com 17 May 2009)

Inaugural speech by Congress President Rajiv Gandhi and the centenary resolve

Indian National Congress

Party time for Congress (the pioneerIndia.com 18 Dec 2009)

The comeback couple (India Today 17 May 2009)

Date written/update: 2010-12-28