The real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) data requires normalization with an internal control gene expressed at constant levels under all the experimental conditions being analyzed for accurate and reliable gene expression results. In this study, the expression of 12 candidate internal control genes, including ACT1, EF1α, GAPDH, IF4a, TUB6, UBC, UBQ5, UBQ10, 18SrRNA, 25SrRNA, GRX and HSP90, in a diverse set of 18 tissue samples representing different organs/developmental stages and stress conditions in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) has been validated. Their expression levels vary considerably in various tissue samples analyzed. The expression levels of EF1α and HSP90 are most constant across various organs/developmental stages analyzed. Similarly, the expression levels of IF4a and GAPDH are most constant across various stress conditions. A set of two most stable genes is found sufficient for accurate and reliable normalization of real-time PCR data in the given set of tissue samples of chickpea. The genes with most constant expression identified in this study should be useful for normalization of gene expression data in a wide variety of tissue samples in chickpea. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.