Moderates believed in the policy of settlement of minor issues with the government by deliberations. But the extremists believed in agitation, strikes, and boycotts. They wanted to extend the boycott to all over India and refuse cooperation so that task of administration becomes impossible.
The main extremist leaders were Lala Lajpat Ray, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal. They were called Lal Bal Pal. They had become so popular that British got alarmed. The slogan was “Swaraj is my Birthright”
The moderates did not like these new techniques of struggle. They even thought of using the Boycott in only special circumstances.
Lokmanya Tilak and his followers held a separate conference and formed the Extremist Party. However they decided to work as a part of the INC.
The difference between moderates and extremists widened in Congress’ Calcutta Session of (1906) and attempts were made to elect one of them as the president.
The moderates opposed the resolutions on Swaraj, Swadeshi, Boycott of foreign goods and National Education and requested to withdraw from the policy laid down in the Calcutta session. But the extremists were not ready to do so.
The moderates were politically intelligent. Dada Bhai Naoroji, the Grand Oldman of India was respected by the moderates and extremists alike. The moderates chose Dada Bhai Naoroji to preside the Congress. So, in 1906, the session at Calcutta was presided by Dada Bhai Naoroji.
Thus in Calcutta session of 1906, under the leadership of Dadabhai Naoroji, Congress adopted Swaraj as the Goal of Indian people. But here a bit of politics was played by the Moderates. They, by no means wanted to be tagged as radical.
The toned down the resolution in a compromised state and made it “self government means that obtaining the self governing British Colonies“. Thus the whole meaning of Swaraj of the extremists was changed. The extremists were defeated in this politics and the difference became apparent. Congress was now bound to split.