December 30, 2023

List of Prime Ministers of India from 1947 to 2023

List of Prime Ministers of India from 1947 to 2023 

List of Prime Ministers of India: In India, the head of state is the President, whose powers are largely nominal and ceremonial. The Prime Minister of India is the head of the government. He is appointed by the President after a political party win a general election and nominates a candidate for the post. The leader of that political party is thereafter appointed as the Prime Minister of India. Effective executive power rests with the Council of Ministers, headed by the prime minister, who is chosen by the majority party or coalition in the Lok Sabha ( Lower House of Parliament) and is appointed by the president of India. Check the chronologically ordered list of the prime ministers in the table below, from the earliest to the most recent.


List of Prime Ministers of India: Overview

The Prime Minister of India is the chief executive of the Government of India. Some important points asked in various exams are given below.

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime minister of India. He is also India’s longest-serving prime minister.
  2. Indira Gandhi was the first Woman Prime minister of India.
  3. Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as India’s youngest Prime minister of India.
  4. Manmohan Singh is the first Sikh Prime minister of India.
  5. Narendra Damodardas Modi is the current Prime minister of India (14th).

Prime Minister of India List 1947 to 2023

Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first prime minister of India was appointed on 15th August 1947 and Narendra Damodardas Modi is the current prime minister of India. Check the List of Prime Ministers of India from 1947 to 2023 in the table below.

                           Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 2023
Prime Minister Name Period
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
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

Narendra Damodardas Modi (2014-Incumbent)

Narendra Modi as the prime minister of the Republic of India is elected as the head of the government. He is the leader of the Lower House (Lok Sabha) and is also the head of the Council of Ministers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the 14th Prime Minister of India. Serving his second tenure, PM Modi was first elected in 2014 to the 16th Lok Sabha. Check below the list of the prime ministers preceding him.

Manmohan Singh (2004-2014)

Dr. Manmohan Singh was the 13th prime minister of India. He has served two complete terms as the prime minister and headed United Progressive Alliance (UPA) governments two times. A member of the Rajya Sabha, Manmohan Singh was the leader of the upper house from 1998 to 2004. He is currently serving his sixth Rajya Sabha tenure. He is widely accredited for the 1991 LPG ( Liberalizations, Privatizations, Globalizations ) reforms in India as the finance minister in PV Narasimha Rao government. Manmohan Singh was also the 15th governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He is the 1987 recipient of the Padma Vibhushan.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1996, 1998-99, 1999-2004)

Atal Bihar Vajpayee has served three terms as the Prime Minister of India. He was first elected as the 10th Prime Minister of India and served for a period of 13 days only. A popular prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was conferred with the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, in 2014. He gave the slogen “Jai jawaan, Jai Kisaan, Jai Vigyan”. Vajpayee was the minister of External Affairs minister in Morarji Desai government and is remembered for his contributions in bettering the Indo-Pakistan ties. Elected 10 times to the Lok Sabha, he was also a two time member of the Rajya Sabha from 1962-67 and 1986-91. He was among the founding members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh that later became the Bharatiya Janata Party of which Vajpayee was the first president. The Pokhran 2 nuclear tests in 1988 were held under his tenure. Born on Christmas Day, December 25, his birthday is marked in India as the Good Governance Day.

Inder Kumar Gujral (1997-1998)

The 12th prime minister of India, I K Gujral was a participant of the Quit India Movement under Gandhi Ji leader ship. As the minister of external affairs, he is remembered for the Gujral Doctrine – a set of five principles to guide the foreign policy of India with its immediate neighbours, particularly Pakistan. He was both a Rajya Sabha member and a Lok Sabha member.

HD Deve Gowda (1996-1997)

Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda, the 11th Indian PM, had held the office of the Karnataka chief minister from 1994 to 1996. Deve Gowda was chosen as the prime minister when no party had won enough seats to form the government and the United Front formed the government with Congress support. The national president of the Janata Dal ( Secular ), Deve Gowda was the member of the 14th, 15th and 16th Lok Sabha after his term as the prime minister.

PV Narasimha Rao (1991-1996)

Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao, the 10th prime minister, was the first PM to come from southern India. Narasimha Rao served as the defence minister from 1993-96 and the minister of external affairs from 1992 to 1994. He was also the home minister under Rajiv Gandhi in 1986. Narasimha Rao was also the 4th chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. The 1991 economic reforms were brought under his tenure as the PM.

Chandra Shekhar (1990-1991)

The eighth Indian Prime Minister, Chandra Shekhar, headed a minority government of a Janata Dal breakaway faction with the support of the Congress to delay the election process. With the least number of party MPs, his government was regarded as the ‘lame duck’. The 1991 economic crisis and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi were two key events during his tenure.

VP Singh (1989-1990)

Vishwanath Pratap Singh was the seventh prime minister of India. A Congressman, VP Singh was the 12th chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. From 1984 to 1987, he was the minister of finance and from 1989-90, the minister of defence under PM Rajiv Gandhi when the Bofors scandal surfaced. The Mandal Commission Report for reservation in government posts / educational institutions was implemented in his tenure.

Rajiv Gandhi (1984-89)

The sixth prime minister of India and the son of preceding PM Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi served from 1984 to 1989. He took office on the day of the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 after the Sikh riots and at age 40 was the youngest PM of India. Rajiv Gandhi served as a pilot for the Indian Airlines. From 1985-91, he was the president of the Congress party. His term was marked by prominent cases such as that of Shah Bano, the Bhopal gas tragedy and the Bofors scandal. He was assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber in 1991 at age 46 and was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna.

Chaudhary Charan Singh (1979-80)

C Charan Singh was the fifth prime minister of India. Born in a peasant family in Uttar Pradesh, Charan Singh was the champion of peasants rights.

Morarji Desai (1977-79)

The fourth Prime Minister of India was Morarji Ranchhodji Desai. He was the chief minister of the Bombay state, from 1952 to 1956, that was partitioned into Maharashtra and Gujarat. He led the government formed by the Janata Party.

Indira Gandhi (1966-1977, 1980-1984)

The third Prime Minister of India, Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, also the first and so far the only woman prime minister of India, served the second-longest term as a prime minister. Indira Gandhi also served as the minister of external affairs (1984), minister of defence (1980 – 82), minister of home affairs (1970 – 73) and minister of information and broadcasting (1964 – 66). She imposed the 1975 state emergency to suspend elections. The 1971 war with Pakistan for the liberation of East Pakistan was held during her term in office. Following Operation Blue Star, she was assassinated in 1986 by her own bodyguard.

Gulzarilal Nanda (1964, 1966)

Gulzarilal Nanda took office in 1966 following the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri for 13 days as the acting prime minister of India. His earlier 13-day stint as the second prime minister of India followed the death of prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964.

Lal Bahadur Shastri (1964-1966)

Congressman Lal Bahadur Shastri was the second prime minister of India. He came up with the slogan of ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ that became popular during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war and served as the Railways minister under Jawaharlal Nehru. His died the day following the Tashkent Agreement that formally ended the war.

Jawaharlal Nehru (1947-1964)

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first and longest-serving prime minister of India. He was a leading figure in the Indian independence movement and served as the prime minister until his death in 1964. Popularly known as ‘Chacha Nehru’ due to his love for children, he was also called ‘Pandit Nehru’ because of his roots in the Kashmiri Pandit community.




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