Chapter 5 – Challenges to and Restoration of Congress System Questions and Answers: NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Political Science (Politics In India Since Independence)

Class 12 Political Science (Politics In India Since Independence) NCERT book solutions for Chapter 5 - Challenges to and Restoration of Congress System Questions and Answers.


1. Which of these statements about the 1967 elections is/are correct?
(a) Congress won the Lok Sabha elections but lost the Assembly elections in many states.
(b) Congress lost both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
(c) Congress lost majority in the Lok Sabha but formed a coalition government with the s upport of some other parties.
(d) Congress retained power at the Centre with an increased majority. Ans. (a) Congress won the Lok Sabha elections but lost the Assembly elections in many states.

Answer: (a) Congress won the Lok Sabha elections but lost the Assembly elections in many states.
(c) Congress lost majority in the Lok Sabha but formed a coalition government with the support of some other parties.

2. Match the following:

Answer: (a)-(ii), (b)-(i), (c)-(iv), (d)-(iii).

3. Whom would you identify with the following slogans/phrases?
(a) Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan
(b) Indira Hatao!
(c) Garibi Hatao!

Answer: (a) Lai Bahadur Shastri: Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan
(b) Syndicate: Indira Hatao!
(c) Indira Gandhi: Garibi Hatao!

4. Which of the following statement about the Grand Alliance of 1971 is correct? The Grand Alliance …
(а) was formed by non-Communist, non-Congress parties.
(b) had a clear political and ideological programme.
(c) was formed by all non-Congress parties.

Answer: (a) was formed by non-Communist, non-Congress parties.

5. How should a political party resolve its internal differences? Here are some suggestions. Think of each and list out their advantages and shortcomings?
(a) Follow the footsteps of the party president
(b) Listen to the majority group
(c) Secret ballot voting on every issue
(d) Consult the senior and experienced leaders of the party

Answer: (a) Advantage: If the party follows the footsteps of the party president, there will be discipline and unity within the party.
Shortcoming: The party president can take its decision without taking into consideration the views of its party members. So, the inner democracy may get weakened.
(b) Advantage: If the party listens to the majority group, there will be more confidence among the party members and inner democracy will be strengthened.
Shortcoming: If the party listens to the majority group, factionalism may increase in the party. One faction may try to back another faction to gather support.
(c) Advantage: Secret ballot voting is an appropriate system. It is more democratic. Through it, any member can express his views.
Shortcoming: Sometimes, the party members may vote through secret ballot by ignoring the whip of the party issued by the party president. It may prove fatal to the party.
(d) Advantage: The novice and less experienced candidates will be benefited if they consult the senior and experienced leaders of the party and also follow their guidelines. Shortcoming: If the party members only consult the senior and experienced leaders and follow their guidelines, their hold will get strengthened in the party.

6. State which of these were reasons for the defeat of the Congress in 1967. Give
reasons for your answer?
(a) The absence of a charismatic leader in the Congress party.
(b) Split within the Congress party.
(c) Increased mobilisation of regional, ethnic and communal groups.
(d) Increasing unity among non¬Congress parties.
(e) Internal differences within the Congress party.

Answer: (a) It may not be the reason of the defeat of Congress party. Because there were so many experienced and charismatic leaders in the party.
(b) It was one of the main reasons of the defeat of Congress party. Now party was split into two groups. Syndicate had strong hold over the Congress party while Indira supporters were more inclined to their leader. One group was in support of capitalism and liberalisation while others opposed it.
(c) Due to the emergence of the Akali Dal in Punjab, D.M.K. in Tamil Nadu got and other regional parties, Congress setback. The party could not get majority at the centre and had to be deprived of power in various states.
(d) There was no unity among non¬Congress parties. So the non¬Congress parties got benefit in other provinces.
(e) Internal differences within the party were one of the major causes of its defeat.

7. What were the factors which led to the popularity of Indira Gandhi’s Government in the early 1970s?

Answer: Because:
1. Socialist credentials became main projects during this period.
2. Indira Gandhi campaigned to implement land reform legislations and land ceiling legislations.
3. She ended her dependence on other
political parties by strengthening her party’s position and recommended the dissolution of Lok Sabha in December’ 1970.
4. The crisis in East Pakistan and Indo- Pak war to establish Bangladesh as an independent one, also enhanced the popularity of Indira Gandhi.
5. Indira Gandhi’s government was not accepted only as a protector of the poor and underprivileged but as a strong government also.
6. Congress became popular among different social sections and restored dominance again.

8. What does the term ‘syndicate’ mean in the context of the Congress party of the . sixties? What role did the Syndicate play in the Congress party?

Answer: Syndicate was a group of powerful and influential leaders from within the Congress:
1. Syndicate was led by K. Kamraj, former chief minister of Tamilnadu and the then president of Congress party. It also includes some powerful leaders like S.K. Patil, S. Nijalingappa, N. Sanjeeva Reddy and Atulya Ghosh.
2. In the sixties, Syndicate played a decisive role by installing both Lai Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi as a Prime Minister.
3. Syndicate played decisive say in Indira Gandhi’s first council of Ministers and formation and implementation of policies.
4. After a split, two groups in Congress were created i.e. Congress (O), led by Syndicate and Congress (R), led by Indira Gandhi.
5. Congress (R), won popularity after 1971 and Syndicate lost power and prestige.

9. Discuss the major issue which led to the formal split of the Congress Party in 1969.

Answer: The formal split in Congress took place in 1969 on the issue of nomination of the candidate during presidential elections:
1. Despite, Indira Gandhi’s reservations, the Syndicate nominated Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, as the official Congress candidate for ensuing Presidential elections.
2. Indira Gandhi retaliated the situation by encouraging Mr. V.V. Giri, the then Vice-President, to be nominated as an independent candidate.
3. During election, the then Congress President S. Nijalingappa issued a whip asking all Congress MPs. MLAs to vote for N. Sanjeeva Reddy.
4. On the other hand, after silently supporting V.V. Giri, the Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi openly called for a conscience vote to vote the way they want.
5. Elections went in favour of V.V. Giri due to this diplomatic effort and N. Sanjeeva Reddy was defeated.
6. The defeat of N. Sanjeeva Reddy, the formal Congress candidate, formalised the split of party into two:
(a) Congress (O), i.e. organisation
led by syndicate, known as Old Congress.
(b) Congress (R) i.e. requisitionists led by Indira Gandhi, known as New Congress.

10. Read the passage and answer the questions below:
“… Indira Gandhi changed the Congress into highly centralised and undemocratic party organisation, from the earlier federal, democratic and ideological formation that Nehru had led. … But this … could not have happened had not Indira Gandhi changed the entire nature of politics. This new, populist politics turned political ideology … into a mere electoral discourse, use of various slogans not meant to be translated into government policies…. During its great electoral victories in early 1970s, amidst the celebration, the Congress party as a political organisation died
—Sudipta Kaviraj
(a) What according to the author is the difference between the strategies of Nehru and Indira Gandhi?
(b) Why does the author say that the Congress party ‘died’ in the seventies?
(c) In what way, did the change in the Congress party affect other political parties also?

Answer: (a) According to author, main difference between the strategies of Nehru and Indira Gandhi is that Jawahar Lai Nehru led the Congress into federal, democratic and ideological nature whereas Indira Gandhi converted it into highly centralised and undemocratic party.
(b) Congress party died in the seventies due to changed nature of Congress, the new populist politics turned political ideology into a mere electoral discourage and the use of various slogans never meant to be translated into government policies
i. e. electoral victories of 1970s.
(c) The change in the Congress party affected other political parties also as they formed SVD (Samyukt Vidhayak Dal) in the form of coalitions and grand alliance.

Very Short Answer Type Questions[1 Mark]

1. Which major factor was responsible for the dramatic victory of Indira Gandhi in 1971 elections?

Answer: Although the Congress’s position was very weak in the electroal contest of 1971, it had something that its big opponents lacked—it had an issue, an agenda and a positive slogan: Garibi Hatao in contrast to opposition’s Indira Hatao. This proved to be a major factor responsible for the dramatic victory of Indira Gandhi.

2. Who represented Congress (O) and Congress (R) after the split of Congress Party?

Answer: Congress (O) was represented by K. Kamraj, former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu and the then President of Congress Party whereas Congress (R) was led by Indira Gandhi.

3. What is meant by term ‘Congress Syndicate?

Answer: ‘Congress Syndicate’, implied a group of powerful and influential leaders within Congress to be known as Old Congress.

4. In 1966, who contested against Indira Gandhi for the post of Prime Minister from among Congress MPs?

Answer: Morarji Desai, earlier Chief Minister of Bombay State.

5. What was the Slogan of Indira Gandhi during the elections of 1971?

Answer: ‘Garibi Hatao’.

6. After the death of Lai Bahadur Shastri which two leaders of Congress Party contested against each other to become leader of Congress parliamentary party?

Answer: Morarji Desai and Indira Gandhi.

7. Name the leaders who gave the following slogans.
1. Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan
2. Garibi Hatao

Answer: 1. Lai Bahadur Shastri
2. Indira Gandhi

8. Which theoretical argument did Ram j Manohar Lohia give in defence on non- Congressism?

Answer: “Congress rule was undemocratic and opposed to the interest of ordinary poor people, therefore, the coming together of the non-Congress parties was necessary for reclaiming democracy for the people”.

9. The results of which, elections were called j “Political Earthquake”?

Answer. February 1967, Fourth General Elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.

10. When and where was the first non- j Congress state government formed after India’s independence?

Answer: Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in 1967.

ll. Why are the results of 1967 elections in India called Political Earthquake?

Answer: Because it jolted the Congress at both the central and state levels as Congress did not get majority in Congress ruled states.

12. What challenges were faced by India between 1964 to 1966 during Prime- ministership of Lai Bahadur Shastri?

Answer: 1. Economic crisis due to Indo-China War 1962 and Indo-Pak War 1965.
2. Failed Monsoons, drought, serious food crisis presented a grave challenge.

13. What do you mean by SVD?

Answer: SVD stands for Samyukt Vidhayak Dal
i. e. Joint Legislative Parties formed by various non-Congress parties called as coalitions after fourth general elections.

14. Why were 1960s, called as the dangerous decade?

Answer: Due to some unresolved problems like poverty, inequality, communal and regional divisions led a failure of democratic projects or disintegration of country.

Very Short Answer Type Questions [2 Marks]

1. What does ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ stand for in Indian politics?

Answer: 1. The phrase ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ implied frequent floor crossing by legislators in the party which was developed by Haryana MLA Gaya Lai in 1967.
2. He changed his party thrice in fortnight from Congress to United Front back to Congress and then within nine hours to United Front again.
3. This incident later became a political joke and develop the culture of defection in Indian politics to create instability among the political parties.
4. Now, the Constitution has been amended to prevent this practice under ‘Anti Defection Law’.

2. Why did senior Congress leader support Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister after the death of Lai Bahadur Shastri?

Answer: Because:
1. Indira Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru and she had been Congress president in the past and had also been Union Minister for Information in Shastri Cabinet.
2. The senior leaders presumed that her administrative and political inexperience would compel her to dependent on them for support and guidance.

3. What is meant by Grand Alliance?

Answer: Grand Alliance was an electoral alliance of all the major Non-communist, non¬Congress opposition parties. The SSP, PSP, Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Swatantra Party and the Bharatiya Kranti Dal came together under this Umbrella.

4. Why did Indira Gandhi government devalue the Indian Rupee in 1967?

Answer: Indira Gandhi government devalued Indian rupee to check economic crisis of 1967. Consequently, one US dollar could be purchased for less than ? 5 after devaluation, it cost more than ? 7.
1. The economic situation triggered a price rise.
2. People started protest against increase in prices of essential commodities and unemployment etc.
3. The Communist and Socialist parties launched struggle to avail greater equality.

5. How did Congress face challenge of political succession second time?

Answer: The Congress party faced the challenge of succession for second time in 1966 after the death of Lai Bahadur Shastri:
1. This challenge started with an intense competition between Morarji Desai and Indira Gandhi to be resolved through a secret ballot.
2. Indira Gandhi defeated Morarji Desai by securing support of more than two-third of the party’s MPs.
3. Thus, a peaceful transition of power despite intense competition for leadership was seen as a sign of maturity of India’s democracy.

6. What was the status of SVD in the new era of coalition?

Answer: The elections of 1967 brought the coalitions when no single party got the majority and joint legislator parties called ‘Samyukt Vidhayak Dal’ came together to form government to support non-Congress government:
1. The SVD government in Bihar included two socialist parties—SSP and PSP along-with CPS on left and Jana Sangh on right.
2. In Punjab, it was called the popular United Front and comprised the two rival Akali Parties at that time.

7. ‘1960s were labelled as the dangerous decade’. Explain.

Answer: Due to some unresolved problems like poverty, inequality, communal and regional divisions and the was speculations that all these could lead to a failure of the democratic project or even disintegration of country.