In 1886 delegates to the Congress, numbering 436, were elected by different local organizations and groups. Hereafter, the National congress met every year in a different part of the country each time. The number of its delegates soon increased to thousands and it included mostly of lawyers, journalists, traders, industrialists, teachers and landlords.

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In 1890, Kadambini Ganguli, the first woman graduate of Calcutta University, addressed the Congress session. This was symbolic of the fact that India’s struggle for freedom would raise Indian women from the degraded position.

Some of the great presidents of the National Congress during its early years were:-

1) Dadabhai Naoroji

2) Badruddin Tyabji

3) Pherozeshah Mehta

4) P. Anand Charlu

5) Surendranath Banerjea

6) Romesh Chandra Dutt

7) Anand Mohan Bose

8) Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Other prominent leaders of the congress and the national movement during this period were: Mahadev Govind Ranade, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Brothers Sisir Kumar and Motilal Ghose, Madan Mohan Malviya, G. Subramaniya Iyer, C. Vijayaraghava Chariar, and Dinshaw E. Wacha.