Prime Ministers of India from 1947 – 2019

Are you ready for UPSC Exam? Check your preparation with Free UPSC Mock Test

In the Republic of India, the Prime Minister of India and its Cabinet Ministers are responsible for exercising executive authority. The Prime Minister of India is appointed by the President of India after a political party has won the General Elections (Lok Sabha Elections). After that, the political party nominates a candidate as the Prime Minister who is appointed by the President of India. So let’s see the Prime Ministers of India from 1947 till date.

Do you want to crack UPSC in first attempt? Join UPSC Telegram Channel

List of Prime Ministers of India

Below is the list of Prime ministers of India with their features.

1. Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first and the longest-serving Prime Minister in India till date (2019). He was involved in the struggle for freedom during the British Raj and rose as a prominent political activist. A lawyer initially, he joined the Congress party and won his seat as the Prime Minister. Nehru was known for his nonaligned diplomatic relations. He had a secular approach to politics which contrasted with Gandhi’s policies briefly.

2. Gulzarilal Nanda

An economist, he served as an acting Prime Minister during Nehru’s PM tenure and Lal Bahadur Shastri. He was with the Indian National Congress Party and also served as an acting PM between Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award. Nanda was the Prime Minister of India twice for thirteen days each. He was also the Home Minister when Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri were the Prime Ministers.

3. Lal Bahadur Shastri

After India’s independence in 1947, Lal Bahadur Shastri joined Nehru’s Cabinet as the Railway Minister. When he was elected as the PM, he started the White Revolution, which was a national campaign to increase the production and supply of Milk. He was posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna after his disputed death in Tashkent after the Indo- Pakistan war of 1965.

4. Indira Gandhi

Daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru and mother of Rajiv Gandhi, she was only female PM of India. Known for her dynamic character, she went into war for independence of East Pakistan (now known as Bangladesh) against West Pakistan (now known as Pakistan). She was assassinated by her own Sikh Bodyguard after she ordered military action in Golden Temple for Operation Blue Star.

5. Morarji Desai

He was an Indian activist and was Minister of Finance in Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet until 1969, his split from the Congress. He became the 4th Indian PM and led the government formed by the Janata Party and held many important posts – he was the Chief Minister of the State of Bombay, Home Minister, and 2nd Deputy Prime Minister besides the Finance Minister.

6. Charan Singh

Famous as the “champion of peasants”, he was the 5th PM of India. He became notable in Uttar Pradesh during the 1850s. He represented the Janata Party as well. Charan Singh openly opposed Jawaharlal Nehru’s Soviet inclined economic reforms. He wanted to establish a stable system of peasant proprietorship. However, his career suffered a lot due to his notion against Nehru and his system.

7. Rajiv Gandhi

India’s youngest PM and the son of Indira Gandhi (former PM), he was assassinated by the LTTE leader – Prabhakaran due to the controversy of Gandhi sending Peacekeeping Forces to Sri Lanka. He was previously a professional pilot for the state-owned Indian Airlines.

8. Vishwanath Pratap Singh

Elected as the Member of Parliament (Uttar Pradesh) in 1971, he also served as the Minister of Commerce from 1976-1977. In 1980, he became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. In 1989, the National Front with the help of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won the elections and became the 7th PM of India. When BJP withdrew its support as opposed to National Front’s Ram Rath Yatra, there was a vote of no-confidence. Pratap Singh had to resign, his tenure lasting for 343 days.

9. Chandra Shekhar

He served as the 8th PM of India and headed a minority government out of Janata Dal with outside support from the Indian National Congress. He was the PM of India for 7 months, shortest after Charan Singh and also handled the portfolios of Defense and Home Affairs during this period.

10. P.V Narasimha Rao

He served as the 9th PM of India from the Indian National Congress. He held ministerial positions in the Andhra government and was also the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. In 1972 he held portfolios of Defense, Home, and Foreign Affairs. He won the elections from all over Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Orissa.

11. H.D Deve Gowda

He was from the Janata Dal. He was previously the Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1994 to 1996 and is currently the Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha representing Karnataka. When he was chosen as the 11th PM of India. During this tenure, he also served as the Ministry of Home Affairs. His tenure lasted for less than a month.

12. Atal Bihari Vajpayee

The first Prime Minister not of the Congress party, this BJP leader served 3 tenures in total. He was elected in the Lok Sabha for ten times and twice to the Rajya Sabha. In March 1977 he became the Minister of External Affairs when Morarji Desai was the PM. He worked to improve the Indo-Pak diplomatic relation. After the 1999 Kargil War, he invited the then President of Pakistan (Pervez Musharraf) to Agra for a summit.

13. Dr. Manmohan Singh

An Indian Economist, he was the first Sikh Prime Minister in India. He was never a member of the Parliament but represented the state of Assam in Rajya Sabha for 5 years. He was the PM representing the Congress party.

14. Narendra Modi

Now, serving his second tenure as the Prime Minister of India, this former chief minister of Gujarat represents the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He introduced the ‘Swachch Bharat Abhijaan’ and demonetized the previously used 1000, 500 notes which created a lot of controversies. He also made certain reforms which the citizens of India have opposed.

Prime Ministers of India

Here is a list of the Prime Ministers of India from 1947-2019 :

Prime Minister Tenure 
Jawahar Lal Nehru 15-Aug-1947 to 27-May-1964
Gulzarilal Nanda 27-May-1964 to 9 June 1964
Lal Bahadur Shastri 09-Jun-1964 to 11-Jan-1966
Gulzarilal Nanda 11-Jan-1966 to 24 January 1966
Indira Gandhi 24-Jan-1966 to 24-Mar-1977
Morarji Desai 24-Mar-1977 to 28-Jul-1979
Charan Singh 28-Jul-1979 to 14-Jan-1980
Indira Gandhi 14-Jan-1980 to 31-Oct-1984
Rajiv Gandhi 31-Oct-1984 to 02-Dec-1989
Vishwanath Pratap Singh 02-Dec-1989 to 10-Nov-1990
Chandra Shekhar 10-Nov-1990 to 21-Jun-1991
P. V. Narasimha Rao 21-Jun-1991 to 16-May-1996
Atal Bihari Vajpayee 16-May-1996 to 01-Jun-1996
H. D. Deve Gowda 01-Jun-1996 to 21-Apr-1997
Inder Kumar Gujral 21-Apr-1997 to 19-Mar-1998
Atal Bihari Vajpayee 19-Mar-1998 to 22-May-2004
Dr. Manmohan Singh 22-May-2004 to 26-May-2014
Narendra Damodardas Modi 26-May-2014  to Incumbent

Conclusion

Prime Ministers of India have always been an influential figure in the world politics. Narendra Modi (present PM as of 2019) has worked to strengthen the diplomatic relationships across many countries.

2 Responses

  1. Ashic A K says:

    IK Gujral name is missing in the PM list, please update the list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.