The Extremists wanted the 1907 session to be held in Nagpur (Central Provinces) with Tilak or Lajpat Rai as the president and reiteration of the swadeshi movement.
The Moderates wanted the session at Surat to exclude Tilak from the presidency since a leader from the host province could not be session president (Surat being in Tilak’s home province of Bombay). Instead, they wanted Rashbehari Ghosh as the president and sought to drop the resolutions on the swadeshi, boycott and national education.
The split became inevitable, and the Congress was now dominated by the Moderates who lost no time in reiterating Congress’s commitment to the goal of self-government within the British Empire.
The Moderates held a secret meeting and decided to expel the radicals. The Moderates and the Radicals patched up their differences for a year, but in 1907 the two groups permanently split. The immediate cause of the split in the INC at its Surat Session was the Election of the President to the INC. Moderates wanted Lala Lajpat Rai whereas moderates wanted Rash Behari Gosh. Dr Rash Behari Ghosh was elected but the extremists had an objection to this election.
Dr Rash Behari Ghosh
The Surat split was a big jolt to the Indian National Congress. In fact, the difference between the moderates and the extremists presented an opportunity to the British. The moderates were quite reluctant to pass the motion on the demand for Swaraj.
Lord Minto served as Governor-General and Viceroy of India from 1905 to 1910.