NCERT Notes for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 5 Challenges to and Restoration of the Congress System

Class 12 Political Science Chapter 5 Challenges to and Restoration of the Congress System

NCERT Notes for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 5 Challenges to and Restoration of the Congress System, (Political Science) exam are Students are taught thru NCERT books in some of the state board and CBSE Schools. As the chapter involves an end, there is an exercise provided to assist students to prepare for evaluation. Students need to clear up those exercises very well because the questions inside the very last asked from those.

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NCERT Notes for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 5 Challenges to and Restoration of the Congress System

Class 12 Political Science Chapter 5 Challenges to and Restoration of the Congress System


  • We have seen that after Independence Congress established dominance in the Indian Political system.
  • The first challenge to this system was raised during the 1960s.
  • As political competition became more intense, the Congress found it difficult to retain its dominance.
  • It faced challenges from the opposition that was more powerful a d less divided than before.
  • The Congress also faced challenges from within, as the party could no longer accommodate all kinds of differences.

Challenge of political Succ ssion

  • Nehru died in May 1964.
  • His death created a lot of speculation about his successor and raised two questions, Such as:
  1. After Nehru who?
  2. Whether Indian democracy will survive after Nehru ?
  • 1960s were generally labelled as the ” dangerous decade” . During this period, India faced several problems like ;
    1. Poverty
    2. Inequality
    3. Communal and regional divisions
  • These problems could lead to the disintegration of the country.

From Nehru to Shastri

  • Congress party, under the presidentship of K. Kamaraj, unanimously elected Lal Bahadur Shastri as the next PM of India.
  • He was an experienced leader and famous for simplicity.
  • From 1964 to 1966, he was the PM of the country.
  • During this period, the country faced two major challenges:
    1. An economic crisis, due to the failure of monsoons, a severe drought and shortage of food.
    2. A War with Pakistan in 1965.
  • His famous slogan ” Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” expressed the determination of the country to face these challenges.
  • He expired on 10th January 1966 in Thashkant.

From Shastri to Indira Ga dh

  • With the death of L. B Shastri, Congress had to face the challenge of political succession once again.
  • This time there was an intense competition between Morarji Desai and indira Gandhi.
  • Morarji Dosai was a popular leader with gr at political tradition.
  • Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Nehru, had been the president of Congress Party.
  • The senior Congress leaders supported Ind ra Gandhi, because they believed that she may depend the senior leaders due to her adm nistrative and political inexperience.

The election was conducted through a secret ballot among Congress MPs.

  • In the election Indira Gandhi defected Morarji Desai by securing 2/3 majority of Congress Mps.
  • Thus, Indira Gandhi became the first woman PM of India.

Fourth General Election of 1967

  • It was in the election that the base of Congress Party was shaken for the first time.
  • It is considered as a landmark in the political history of India.

Context of Election

  • Food Scarcity
  • Economic crisis
  • Price rise and Popular protests
  • Armed agrarian struggle and agitations for equality.
  • Hindu-Muslims riots
  • Unity in the opposition parties
  • Two PMs died in quick succession
  • Unemployment issues
  • Inexpirienced PM

Non – Congressism

  • The opposition Political parties realised that the divis on of the r votes Kept the congress in power.
  • So, ideologically different political parties formed Anti-congress Fronts to defeat the Congress.

The term ” Non – Congressism” was coined by Ram Manohar Lohia.

  • The theoretical argument of Lohia was that Congr ss rule was undemocractic and opposed to the interest of ordinary poor people. Therefore, the coming together of the non-congress Parties was necessary for recla ming democracy for the people.

Electoral verdict of 1967

  • Congress got majority in Lok Sabha with the lowest Seats since 1952.
  • Half of the cabinet mini ters were defeated.

Many Senior Congre leaders were defeated.

  • Congress Lost power in 9 States.
  • DMK, a regional political party won Clear majority in the Madras Legislative Assembly.
  • Contemporary Political observers describe this election Verdict as a “political Earthquake”.


  • If no single party gets clear majority in the election to form a govt, two or more parties join together and form the govt. This political phenomenon is called Coalition govt.
  • Generally there was no ideological agreement between the partners of these coalition govts.


  • After the election of 1967 the politics of defection had become an important feature of Indian politics.
  • If a representative leaves the party on whose symbol he was elected and joins another party, is called defection.

Split in the Congress

  • Even though Congress could retain power at the centre in the general election of 1967, it had to face a major split in 1969.
  • The political and power rivalary between Indira Gandhi a d the Sy dicate group within the Congress ultimately created a split in the party.

Indira vs Syndicate

  • Syndicate means a group of Powerful and influential leaders from within congress.
  • It was led by K. Kamaraj.
  • In the earlier they played a vital role in installation of indira as PM.
  • The Syndicate expected Indira Gandhi to follow their advises.
  • Gradually Indira Gandhi Side ined the sen or leaders and sought advise from outside the party.

Two Challenges before Indira Gandhi:

    1. Independence from Syndicate.
    2. Regain the lot strength of Congress.
  • In order to face these challenges Indira Gandhi introduced left front policies.
  • In May 1967 Indira Gandhi formulated a Ten Point Programme. It included:
  1. Social control of Bank
  2. Nationalisation of general insurance
  3. Ceiling on Urban property
  4. Public distribution of foodgrains
  5. Land Reformations

Presidential Election of 1969

  • The Official candidate of Congress was Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.
  • Indira Gandhi Supported V. VGiri, who contested as an independent candidate.
  • The Congress President S. Nijalingappa issued a Whip to all the Congress MPs and MLAs to vote for N. Sanjeeva Reddy, the official candidate of the party.
  • Indira Gandhi openly called for a “Conscience vote” in the presidential election.
  • V. V Giri won in the presidential election.
  • The Congress president dismissed Indira Gandhi from the party, which led to split in the party.
  • Congress O (organization) led the Syndicate.
  • Congress R (reorganization) led by Indira Gandhi.

The election of 1971 and the restoration of Congress

  • Due to the split in the congress the Indira Gandhi go t became a minority govt.
  • It could remain in power only w th the support of DMK and CPI.
  • Indira Gandhi knew that she cou d cont nue n Power for a long period depending on the support of other political parties.
  • So, In december 1970, indira Gandi’s govtro commended the dissolution of Lok Sabha and the holding of fre h election.

It was really a bold and urpri ing decision.

The contest

  • The 5th general election to Lok Sabha was held in February 1971.

Everybody believed that the real organizational strength of the Congress Party was under the command of Congress (O).

  • To make matters worse for Indira Gandhi, all non-congress and non-communist Opposition Parties formed an electoral alliance, known as “Grand Alliance”.
  • The Congress (R) made an alliance with CPI.
  • The grand alliance entered the election arena with the slogan”Indira Hatao” (remove Indira.
  • When the opposition Parties made Personal attacks, Indira Gandhi concentrated more on the issues of the country.
  • As aganist the opposition slogan of Indira Hatao, She put forward the positive slogan of. ” Garibi Hatao” (removal of Poverty), which got popular attention.

The Election Result

  • The Congress(R) and CPl alliance Secured amazing majority in the election.
  • They got 2/3 majority in the election.
  • The election result proved that Indira Gandhi’s Congress was the real Co gress.
  • Indo-Pak War In 1971 really doubled the popularity of Ind ra Ga dhi.
  • Indira Gandhi began to be considered as the protector of the poor and the underprivileged.


  • The new Congress, under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, was entirely different from the old Congress.
    1. It relied entirely on the popular ty of the Supreme leader.
    2. The organizational structure of the party was very weak.
    3. It could not accomodate different opinions and Interests within the party.

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