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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 his 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 India's Parliament.[1]

Since 1947, India has had fourteen Prime Ministers, fifteen including Gulzarilal Nanda who twice acted in the role, the first was Jawaharlal Nehru of the Indian National Congress party,[2] who was sworn-in on 15 August 1947, when India gained independence from the British. 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. Indira Gandhi, Nehru's daughter, succeeded Shastri in 1966 to become the country's first woman premier. 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. After he resigned in 1979, his former deputy Charan Singh briefly held office until Indira Gandhi was voted back six months later. Indira Gandhi's second stint as Prime Minister ended five years later on the morning of 31 October 1984, when she was gunned down by her own bodyguards, that evening, her son Rajiv Gandhi was sworn-in as India's youngest premier, and the third from his family. Thus far, members of Nehru-Gandhi family have been Prime Minister for a total of 37 years and 303 days.[3]

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. Rao's five-year term was succeeded by four short-lived governments—the Bharatiya Janata Party's Atal Bihari Vajpayee for 13 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. 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-Congressman to do so. Vajpayee was succeeded by Congressman Manmohan Singh, the first Sikh premier, whose United Progressive Alliance government was in office for 10 years between 2004 and 2014. 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.[4]


Prime Ministers of India

Portrait Party
Elected constituency Term of office[6] Appointed by Lok Sabha[a]
1 Jawaharlal Nehru
Jnehru.jpg Indian National Congress Phulpur, Uttar Pradesh 15 August 1947 15 April


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
Gulzarilal Nanda (acting)
Gulzarilal Nanda (cropped).jpg Indian National Congress Sabarkantha, Gujarat 27 May
9 June
13 days Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
2 Lal Bahadur Shastri
Lal Bahadur Shastri (cropped).jpg Indian National Congress Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh 9 June
11 January
1 year, 216 days
Gulzarilal Nanda (acting)
Gulzarilal Nanda (cropped).jpg Indian National Congress Sabarkantha, Gujarat 11 January
24 January
13 days
3 Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi 1977.jpg Indian National Congress Rajya Sabha MP for Uttar Pradesh 24 January
4 March 1967 11 years, 59 days
Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh 4 March 1967 15 March 1971 V. V. Giri 4th
15 March 1971 24 March
4 Morarji Desai
Morarji Desai (portrait).png Janata Party Surat, Gujarat 24 March
28 July
2 years, 126 days B. D. Jatti 6th
5 Charan Singh
Charan Singh 1990 stamp of India.jpg Janata Party (Secular)
with INC
Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh 28 July
14 January
170 days Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
(3) Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi 1977.jpg Indian National Congress (I) Medak, Andhra Pradesh 14 January
31 October
4 years, 291 days 7th
6 Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi (1987).jpg Indian National Congress (I) Amethi, Uttar Pradesh 31 October
31 December 1984 5 years, 32 days Zail Singh
31 December 1984 2 December
7 Vishwanath Pratap Singh
V. P. Singh (cropped).jpg Janata Dal
(National Front)
Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh 2 December
10 November
343 days R. Venkataraman 9th
8 Chandra Shekhar
Chandra Shekhar Singh 2010 stamp of India.jpg Samajwadi Janata Party
with INC
Ballia, Uttar Pradesh 10 November
21 June
223 days
9 Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao
Pumapaparti.N.rao.jpg Indian National Congress (I) Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh 21 June
16 May
4 years, 330 days 10th
10 Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Atal Bihari Vajpayee 2002-06-12.jpg Bharatiya Janata Party Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 16 May
1 June
16 days Shankar Dayal Sharma 11th
11 Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda
(born 1933)
Deve Gowda BNC.jpg Janata Dal
(United Front)
Rajya Sabha MP for Karnataka 1 June
21 April
324 days
12 Inder Kumar Gujral
Inder Kumar Gujral 071.jpg Janata Dal
(United Front)
Rajya Sabha MP for Bihar 21 April
19 March
332 days
(10) Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Atal Bihari Vajpayee 2002-06-12.jpg Bharatiya Janata Party
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh 19 March
10 October 1999 6 years, 64 days K. R. Narayanan 12th
10 October 1999 22 May
13 Manmohan Singh
(born 1932)
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in WEF ,2009 (cropped).jpg Indian National Congress
Rajya Sabha MP for Assam 22 May
22 May 2009 10 years, 4 days A. P. J. Abdul Kalam 14th
22 May 2009 26 May
Pratibha Patil 15th
14 Narendra Modi
(born 1950)
PM Modi Portrait(cropped).jpg Bharatiya Janata Party
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 26 May 2014 Incumbent 4 years, 236 days Pranab Mukherjee 16th
  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.

See also



  • "Former Prime Minister's of India". Prime Minister's Office (PMO). Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  • "Gallery of Prime Ministers". Press Information Burea. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  • Guha, Ramachandra (2011). India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 9780330540209.
  • Brass, Paul R. (1994). The Politics of India Since Independence. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521459709.


  1. ^ Constitutional Government in India. S. Chand Publishing. 2003. ISBN 9788121922036.
  2. ^ "Former Prime Ministers | Prime Minister of India". Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  3. ^ "In India, next generation of Gandhi dynasty". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  4. ^ Diplomat, Ankit Panda, The. "BJP, Modi Win Landslide Victory in Indian Elections". The Diplomat. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
  5. ^ "Indian National Congress". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Former Prime Ministers". PM India. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.