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List of Prime Ministers of India from 1947 to 2024

India, since its independence in 1947, has seen a diverse array of leaders guiding the nation through various phases of development and change. Each Prime Minister has left a unique imprint on the country’s political, economic, and social landscape. Here’s a comprehensive list of India’s Prime Ministers, from the first in 1947 to the present in 2024, highlighting their terms and significant contributions.

Who is the Prime Minister of India?

In India, the Prime Minister holds the highest governmental position. India operates under a parliamentary system, where the Prime Minister serves as both the head of the executive branch and the chief authority. The Lok Sabha, India’s main legislative body, functions as the lower house of Parliament. Normally, the Prime Minister leads the party or coalition with the most seats in the Lok Sabha. This setup ensures ongoing accountability, as the Lok Sabha continually scrutinizes the Prime Minister’s choices and conduct.

Appointment of Prime Minister of India

Prime Minister holds the highest governmental position. Appointed by the President of India, they lead the majority party in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament. According to Article 75 of the Indian Constitution, the President appoints the Prime Minister based on their ability to secure the confidence of the Lok Sabha members. Additionally, the Prime Minister heads the Union Council of Ministers, the principal decision-making body of the Indian government.

List of Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 2024

Explore the dynamic history of India’s governance through its Prime Ministers, spanning from the nation’s independence in 1947 to the present day in 2024. This chronological list showcases the diverse leadership and significant milestones that have shaped India’s political landscape over decades.

Here is the complete list of Prime Ministers of India from 1947 to 2024:

Name Tenure Days of Service
Jawaharlal Nehru 15 Aug 1947 – 27 May 1964 16 years 286 days
Gulzari Lal Nanda 27 May 1964 – 9 Jun 1964 13 days
Lal Bahadur 9 Jun 1964 – 11 Jan 1966 1 year 216 days
Gulzari Lal 11 Jan 1966 – 24 Jan 1966 13 days
Indira Gandhi 24 Jan 1966 – 24 Mar 1977 11 years 59 days
Morarji Desai 24 May 1977 – 28 Jul 1979 2 years 126 days
Charan Singh 28 Jul 1979 – 14 Jan 1980 170 days
Indira Gandhi 14 Jan 1980 – 31 Oct 1984 4 years 291 days
Rajiv Gandhi 31 Oct 1984 – 02 Dec 1989 5 years 32 days
V.P. Singh 02 Dec 1989 – 10 Nov 1990 343 days
Chandra Shekhar 10 Nov 1990 – 21 Jun 1991 223 days
P.V. Narsimha Rao 21 Jun 1991 – 16 May 1996 4 years 330 days
Atal Bihari Vajpayee 16 May 1996 – 01 Jun 1996 16 days
H.D. Deve Gowda 01 Jun 1996 – 21 Apr 1997 324 days
Inder Kumar Gujral 21 Apr 1997 – 19 Mar 1998 332 days
Atal Bihari Vajpayee 19 May 1998 – 22 May 2004 6 years 64 days
Manmohan Singh 22 May 2004 – 26 May 2014 10 years 4 days
Narendra Modi 26 May 2014 – present

Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s inaugural Prime Minister, holds the record for the longest tenure in office. Notably, he was the first Prime Minister to pass away while serving. Nehru’s leadership spanned 18 years, initially as interim Prime Minister and subsequently as the head of the Republic of India from 1950 onward.

Gulzarilal Nanda

Gulzarilal Nanda assumed the role of acting Prime Minister of India, serving for brief periods totaling 26 days. Following the deaths of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964 and Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966, Nanda filled the interim position until the Indian National Congress elected new leaders. Notably, he received the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, in 1997.

Lal Bahadur Shastri

Lal Bahadur Shastri, India’s second Prime Minister, is renowned for his iconic slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” during the 1965 Indo-Pak war. A distinguished Indian statesman and politician, he held the premiership from 1964 to 1966, and previously served as the country’s Home Minister from 1961 to 1963.

Indira Gandhi

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, a prominent Indian politician and stateswoman, held the position of India’s third Prime Minister in two separate terms. Serving from 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 until her tragic assassination in 1984, she remains the sole female Prime Minister in India’s history. As a key figure within the Indian National Congress, her leadership left a lasting impact on Indian politics.

Morarji Desai

Morarji Desai, an Indian freedom fighter turned politician, assumed office as the fourth Prime Minister of India from 1977 to 1979, heading the government under the Janata Party banner. Throughout his extensive political journey, he held significant roles including Chief Minister of Bombay State, Home Minister, Finance Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister.

Charan Singh

Charan Singh assumed office as Prime Minister on July 28, 1979, with backing from Indira Gandhi’s Congress (I) party and Yeshwantrao Chavan of the Congress (Socialist) party as his Deputy Prime Minister. However, before he could establish his majority in the Lok Sabha, Gandhi withdrew her support, leading to Singh’s resignation on August 20, 1979. This marked him as the sole Prime Minister to never secure parliamentary confidence, serving for just 23 days.

Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi, an Indian statesman, held the position of the sixth Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989. His ascension to power followed the tragic assassination of his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in 1984. Notably, he became the youngest Prime Minister in Indian history, assuming office at the age of 40.

V.P. Singh

Vishwanath Pratap Singh, commonly known as V. P. Singh, was an Indian statesman who served as the seventh Prime Minister of India from 1989 to 1990. Additionally, he held the title of the 41st Raja Bahadur of Manda. Notably, Singh is distinguished as India’s sole Prime Minister with a royal lineage.

Chandra Shekhar

Chandra Shekhar, an Indian politician, held office as the eighth Prime Minister of India from November 10, 1990, to June 21, 1991. Leading a minority government formed by a splinter group of the Janata Dal, he relied on external backing from the Indian National Congress. Notably, Shekhar was unique among Indian Prime Ministers for never having previously served in any governmental capacity. His administration faced criticism, often described as ineffectual and constrained, especially considering it was formed with the smallest representation of party MPs in the Lok Sabha.

P.V. Narsimha Rao

Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao, or P. V. Narasimha Rao, made history as India’s first Prime Minister hailing from the southern region of the country. His tenure spanned 4 years and 330 days, from 1991 to 1996. Renowned as a distinguished lawyer, statesman, and politician, Rao’s leadership left a significant mark on Indian politics during his time in office.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a revered Indian politician and statesman, held the position of the 10th Prime Minister of India for three distinct periods. Initially, his tenure lasted a mere 13 days in 1996, followed by a 13-month term from 1998 to 1999, and ultimately a complete term from 1999 to 2004. Notably, he was the first non-Indian National Congress Prime Minister to serve a full term, marking a significant shift in Indian political history.

Inder Kumar Gujral

Inder Kumar Gujral, a distinguished Indian diplomat, politician, and freedom fighter, held the esteemed position of the 12th Prime Minister of India. His tenure, spanning 332 days, commenced in April 1997 and concluded in March 1998. Gujral’s leadership during this period contributed significantly to India’s political landscape.

Manmohan Singh

Manmohan Singh, an eminent Indian politician, economist, and statesman, made history as the first Sikh to hold the esteemed position of Prime Minister of India. Serving for an impressive duration of 10 years and 4 days, from 2004 to 2014, he emerged as the third longest-serving Prime Minister, following Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. A member of the Indian National Congress, Singh’s re-election after completing a full five-year term mirrored Nehru’s earlier accomplishment.

Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi, the 14th and incumbent Prime Minister of India, has marked his tenure by being the fourth Prime Minister to serve two consecutive terms. Assumed office on May 26, 2014, Modi holds the distinction of being the only Prime Minister born after India’s independence. Prior to his premiership, he served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014 and currently represents Varanasi in the Indian Parliament.

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