Prime Minister of India Since 1947

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 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.

Since 1947, India has had fifteen prime ministers, including Gulzarilal Nanda who twice acted in the role. 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. 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. Over 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 in 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.

Rajiv Gandhi’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 six-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.

Below table is the list of all prime ministers of India served and serving with their tenure details ( list is given in descending order, current to previous).

Name Tenure
Shri Narendra Modi (Bharatiya Janata Party) May 26, 2014 – till date
Dr. Manmohan Singh (Indian National Congress) May 22, 2004 – May 21, 2014
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Bharatiya Janata Party) March 19, 1998 – May 22, 2004
Shri Inder Kumar Gujral (Janata Dal) April 21, 1997 – March 19, 1998
Shri H. D. Deve Gowda (Janata Dal) June 1, 1996 – April 21, 1997
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Bharatiya Janata Party) May 16, 1996 – June 1, 1996
Shri P. V. Narasimha Rao (Indian National Congress) June 21, 1991- May 16, 1996
Shri Chandra Shekhar (Samajwadi Janata Party) November 10, 1990 – June 21, 1991
Shri Vishwanath Pratap Singh (Janata Dal) December 2, 1989 – November 10, 1990
Shri Rajiv Gandhi (Indian National Congress) October 31, 1984 – December 2, 1989
Mrs. Indira Gandhi (Indian National Congress) January 14, 1980 – October 31, 1984
Shri Charan Singh (Janta Party) Secular July 28, 1979 – January 14, 1980
Shri Morarji Desai (Janta Party) March 24, 1977 – July 28, 1979
Mrs. Indira Gandhi (Indian National Congress) January 24, 1966 – March 24, 1977
Shri Gulzari Lal Nanda (Indian National Congress) January 11, 1966 – January 24, 1966
Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri (Indian National Congress) June 9, 1964 – January 11, 1966
Shri Gulzari Lal Nanda (Indian National Congress) May 27, 1964 – June 9, 1964
Shri Jawaharlal Nehru (Indian National Congress) August 15, 1947 – May 27, 1964


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