List of prime ministers of India

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The Prime Minister of India is the chief executive of the Government of India. In India's parliamentary system, the Constitution names the President as head of state de jure, but his or her de facto executive powers are vested in the prime minister and their Council of Ministers. Appointed and sworn-in by the President, the prime minister is usually the leader of the party or alliance that has a majority in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament of India.[1] Since 1947, India has had 14 prime ministers, 15 including Gulzarilal Nanda who twice acted in the role.[2] The first was Jawaharlal Nehru of the Indian National Congress party, who was sworn in on 15 August 1947, when India gained independence from the British Raj.[3] Serving until his death in May 1964, Nehru remains India's longest-serving prime minister. He was succeeded by fellow Congressman Lal Bahadur Shastri, whose 19-month term also ended in death.[4] Indira Gandhi, Nehru's daughter, succeeded Shastri in 1966 to become the country's first and the only woman prime minister.[5] Eleven years later, she was voted out of power in favour of the Janata Party, whose leader Morarji Desai became the first non-Congress prime minister.[6] After he resigned in 1979, his former deputy Charan Singh briefly held office until Indira Gandhi was voted back six months later.[7] Her second stint as prime minister ended five years later on 31 October 1984, when she was assassinated by her own bodyguards.[5] Her son Rajiv Gandhi was then sworn in as India's youngest premier and the third from his family. Members of Nehru–Gandhi family have been prime minister for a total of 37 years and 303 days.[8]

Rajiv's five-year term ended with his former cabinet colleague, V. P. Singh of the Janata Dal, forming the year-long National Front coalition government in 1989. A seven-month interlude under prime minister Chandra Shekhar followed, after which the Congress party returned to power, forming the government under P. V. Narasimha Rao in June 1991.[9] Rao's five-year term was succeeded by four short-lived governments—Atal Bihari Vajpayee from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for 16 days in 1996, a year each under United Front prime ministers H. D. Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral, and Vajpayee again for 19 months in 1998–99.[9] After Vajpayee was sworn-in for the third time, in 1999, he managed to lead his National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to a full five-year term, the first non-Congress alliance to do so.[10] Vajpayee was succeeded by Manmohan Singh, whose United Progressive Alliance government was in office for 10 years between 2004 and 2014.[11] The incumbent prime minister of India is Narendra Modi who has headed the BJP-led NDA government since 26 May 2014 which is India's first non-Congress single party majority government.[12]

Prime Ministers of India[edit]

No. Portrait Name
Elected constituency Term of office[14] Appointed by Lok Sabha[a]
1 Jawaharlal Nehru Jawaharlal Nehru
Indian National Congress Phulpur, Uttar Pradesh 15 August 1947 15 April 1952 16 years, 286 days Lord Mountbatten Constituent Assembly[b]
15 April 1952 17 April 1957 Rajendra Prasad 1st
17 April 1957 2 April 1962 2nd
2 April 1962 27 May 1964[†] 3rd
 – Gulzarilal Nanda Gulzarilal Nanda (acting)
Indian National Congress Sabarkantha, Gujarat 27 May 1964 9 June 1964 13 days Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
2 Lal Bahadur Shastri Lal Bahadur Shastri
Indian National Congress Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh 9 June 1964 11 January 1966[†] 1 year, 216 days
 – Gulzarilal Nanda Gulzarilal Nanda (acting)
Indian National Congress Sabarkantha, Gujarat 11 January 1966 24 January 1966 13 days
3 Indira Gandhi Indira Gandhi
Indian National Congress Rajya Sabha MP for Uttar Pradesh 24 January 1966 4 March 1967 11 years, 59 days
Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh 4 March 1967 15 March 1971 4th
15 March 1971 24 March 1977 V. V. Giri 5th
4 Morarji Desai Morarji Desai
Janata Party Surat, Gujarat 24 March 1977 28 July 1979[RES] 2 years, 126 days B. D. Jatti 6th
5 Charan Singh Charan Singh
Janata Party (Secular)
with INC
Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh 28 July 1979 14 January 1980[RES] 170 days Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
(3) Indira Gandhi Indira Gandhi
Indian National Congress (I) Medak, Andhra Pradesh 14 January 1980[§] 31 October 1984[†] 4 years, 291 days 7th
6 Rajiv Gandhi Rajiv Gandhi
Indian National Congress (I) Amethi, Uttar Pradesh 31 October 1984 31 December 1984 5 years, 32 days Zail Singh
31 December 1984 2 December 1989 8th
7 V.P. Singh Vishwanath Pratap Singh
Janata Dal
(National Front)
Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh 2 December 1989 10 November 1990[NC] 343 days R. Venkataraman 9th
8 Chandra Shekhar Chandra Shekhar
Samajwadi Janata Party
with INC
Ballia, Uttar Pradesh 10 November 1990 21 June 1991[c] 223 days
9 P.V. Narasimha Rao P. V. Narasimha Rao
Indian National Congress (I) Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh 21 June 1991 16 May 1996 4 years, 330 days 10th
10 Atal Bihari Vajpayee Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Bharatiya Janata Party Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 16 May 1996 1 June 1996[RES] 16 days Shankar Dayal Sharma 11th
11 H.D. Deve Gowda H. D. Deve Gowda
Janata Dal
(United Front)
Rajya Sabha MP for Karnataka 1 June 1996 21 April 1997[RES] 324 days
12 I.K. Gujral Inder Kumar Gujral
Janata Dal
(United Front)
Rajya Sabha MP for Bihar 21 April 1997 19 March 1998 332 days
(10) Atal Bihari Vajpayee Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Bharatiya Janata Party
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 19 March 1998[§] 10 October 1999 6 years, 64 days K. R. Narayanan 12th
10 October 1999 22 May 2004 13th
13 Manmohan Singh Manmohan Singh
Indian National Congress
Rajya Sabha MP for Assam 22 May 2004 22 May 2009 10 years, 4 days A. P. J. Abdul Kalam 14th
22 May 2009 26 May 2014 Pratibha Patil 15th
14 Narendra Modi Narendra Modi
Bharatiya Janata Party
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 26 May 2014 30 May 2019 5 years, 141 days Pranab Mukherjee 16th
30 May 2019 Incumbent Ram Nath Kovind 17th
Narendra ModiManmohan SinghAtal Bihari VajpayeeInder Kumar GujralH. D. Deve GowdaAtal Bihari VajpayeeP. V. Narasimha RaoChandra ShekharVishwanath Pratap SinghRajiv GandhiIndira GandhiCharan SinghMoraji DesaiIndira GandhiGulzarilal NandaLal Bahadur ShastriGulzarilal NandaJawaharlal Nehru

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Although the Prime Minister can be a member of either house of the Parliament, they have to command the confidence of the Lok Sabha. Upon dissolution of the Lok Sabha, the outgoing PM remains in office until their successor is sworn in.
  2. ^ The Constituent Assembly of India consisted of 389 members elected in 1946 by the provincial assemblies by a single, transferable-vote system of proportional representation. The Assembly was replaced by the Provisional Parliament of India after adoption of the Constitution on 26 January 1950 until the first general elections.
  3. ^ Chandra Shekhar officially resigned as Prime Minister on 13 March 1991, but he and his ministers continued in office until Rao succeeded him.



  1. ^ Pylee, M.V. (2003). Constitutional Government in India. S. Chand Publishing. p. 252. ISBN 9788121922036. Archived from the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  2. ^ Mahurkar, Uday (15 May 1996). "At 98, two-time interim PM Gulzarilal Nanda is the epitome of Gandhian ideals". India Today. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  3. ^ Ramasheshan, Radhika (26 January 2012). "Why January 26: the history of the day". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 November 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  4. ^ Malhotra, Inder (15 January 1995). "Book review: Lal Bahadur Shastri Prime Minister of India 1964-66: A Life of Truth in Politics". India Today. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b Vijaykumar, Neeti (19 January 2017). "Today in 1966: Indira Gandhi becomes Prime Minister". The Week. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Before Modi, there was Morarjibhai". 7 April 2014. Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  7. ^ "JD-U demands Bharat Ratna to former PM Charan Singh". The Economic Times. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  8. ^ Denyer, Simon (2 December 2011). "In India, next generation of Gandhi dynasty". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 28 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  9. ^ a b Iype, George (3 May 2004). "What the former PMs are doing". Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  10. ^ Ghosh, Deepshikha (16 August 2018). "Atal Bihari Vajpayee: The 3-Time PM Who Captivated India With His Oratory". NDTV. Archived from the original on 23 December 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  11. ^ "PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi Greet Manmohan Singh On His 86th Birthday". Outlook. 26 September 2018. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  12. ^ Panda, Ankit (16 May 2014). "BJP, Modi Win Landslide Victory in Indian Elections". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Indian National Congress". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Former Prime Ministers". PM India. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.