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The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratically-operating political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered centre-left wing in the Indian political spectrum as contrasted to the right-wing socio-religious ultra-nationalist-based Bharatiya Janata Party. Founded in 1885 by members of the occultist movement Theosophical Society—Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Wacha, Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee, Surendranath Banerjee, Monomohun Ghose, Mahadev Govind Ranade and William Wedderburn—the Indian National Congress became a pivotal participant in the Indian Independence Movement, with over 15 million members and over 70 million participants in its struggle against British colonial rule in India. After independence in 1947, it became the nation's dominant political party, led by the Nehru-Gandhi family for the most part; major challenges for party leadership have only recently formed. In the 2009 general elections, the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha, with 206 of its candidates getting elected to the 543-member house. Consequently it, as a member of a coalition of political organisations called the United Progressive Alliance, was able to gain a majority and form the government. (via Freebase)