Gulzarilal Nanda
Prime Minister of India
In office
11 January 1966 – 24 January 1966
PresidentSarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Preceded byLal Bahadur Shastri
Succeeded byIndira Gandhi
In office
27 May 1964 – 9 June 1964
PresidentSarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Preceded byJawaharlal Nehru
Succeeded byLal Bahadur Shastri
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
29 August 1963 – 14 November 1966
Prime MinisterJawaharlal Nehru
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Indira Gandhi
Preceded byLal Bahadur Shastri
Succeeded byYashwantrao Chavan
Minister of External Affairs
In office
27 May 1964 – 7 June 1964
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byJawaharlal Nehru
Succeeded byLal Bahadur Shastri
Personal details
Born(1898-07-04)4 July 1898
Sialkot, Punjab, British India
Died15 January 1998(1998-01-15) (aged 99)
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Political partyIndian National Congress
Children2 sons and 1 daughter
Alma materAllahabad University

Gulzarilal Nanda (4 July 1898 – 15 January 1998)[1][2] was an Indian politician and economist who specialized in labour issues. He was the Prime Minister of India for two short periods following the deaths of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964 and Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966 respectively. Both his terms ended after the ruling Indian National Congress's parliamentary party elected a new prime minister. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 1997.

Early life


Nanda was born on 4 July 1898 in Sialkot in the Punjab Province of India into a Punjabi Hindu Khatri family. Sialkot became a part of the Punjab Province of Pakistan in 1947, after the partition of India and creation of Pakistan. Nanda received his education in Lahore, Amritsar, Agra, and Prayagraj.[citation needed]

Research worker

Nanda worked as a research scholar on labour problems at Allahabad University (1920–1921), and became a professor of economics at National College in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1921.[citation needed] The same year, he joined the Indian Non-Cooperation Movement against the British Raj. In 1922, he became secretary of the Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association where he worked until 1946. He was imprisoned for Satyagraha in 1932, and again from 1942 to 1944.[citation needed]. He was honored with "Proud Past Alumni" in the list of 42 members, from "Allahabad University Alumni Association", NCR, Ghaziabad (Greater Noida) Chapter 2007–2008 registered under society act 1860 with registration no. 407/2000.[3][4][5]

He married Lakshmi, with whom he had two sons and a daughter.[6]

Members of Assembly and Parliament

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British Raj

In the British Raj, Nanda was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly in 1937, and served as parliamentary secretary (for Labor and Excise) to the Government of Bombay from 1937 to 1939. As Labour Minister of the Bombay Government during 1946–1950, he successfully piloted the Labor Disputes Bill in the state assembly. He served as a Trustee of the Kasturba Memorial Trust. (Kasturba was the wife of Mahatma Gandhi.) He served as secretary of the Hindustan Mazdoor Sevak Sangh (Indian Labor Welfare Organization), and Chairman of the Bombay Housing Board. He was a member of the National Planning Committee. He was largely instrumental in organising the Indian National Trade Union Congress, and later became its president.

In 1947, Nanda went to Geneva, Switzerland as a government delegate to the International Labor Conference. He worked on The Freedom of Association Committee of the Conference, and visited Sweden, France, Switzerland, Belgium, and the United Kingdom to study labour and housing conditions in those countries.

Indian Planning Commission

In March 1950, Nanda joined the Indian Planning Commission as its vice-chairman. In September 1951, he was appointed Planning Minister in the Indian Government. He was also given charge of the portfolios of Irrigation and Power. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bombay in the general elections of 1952, and was reappointed Minister for Planning, Irrigation, and Power. He led the Indian Delegation to the Plan Consultative Committee held in Singapore in 1955, and the International Labor Conference held in Geneva in 1959.

Lok Sabha member

Nanda was elected to the Lok Sabha in the 1957 elections, and was appointed Union Minister for Labour, Employment and Planning, and later, as Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. He visited the Federal Republic of Germany, Yugoslavia, and Austria in 1959.

Nanda was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in the 1962 elections from the Sabarkantha constituency in Gujarat. He initiated the Congress Forum for Socialist Action in 1962. He was Union Minister for Labour and Employment in 1962–1963, and Minister for Home Affairs in 1963–1966.

Nanda was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in the 1967 and 1971 elections from the Kaithal (Lok Sabha Constituency) in Haryana.[7]

Prime Minister

Nanda was the Prime Minister of India twice for thirteen days each: the first time after the death of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964, and the second time after the death of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966.[8] He was the Home Minister of India during both these periods, and this is the reason why he was chosen as Prime Minister. The Indian Constitution has no provision of Acting Prime Minister as is widely circulated but incorrectly. Both his terms were uneventful, yet they came at sensitive times because of the potential danger to the country following Nehru's death soon after a war with China in 1962 and Shastri's death after a war with Pakistan in 1965.[9] Nanda died on 15 January 1998 at the age of 99; from 25 November 1997 when former Malawian President Hastings Banda died, until his own death Nanda was the oldest living former State Leader.[10] At his death, Nanda was the last surviving member of the second and third Nehru cabinets and the last living state leader to have been born in the 19th century.

In popular culture

A Dedicated Worker - Shri Gulzarilal Nanda is a 1999 short documentary film directed by A. K. Goorha and produced by the Films Division of India which covers Nanda's work towards labourers and others as the PM and otherwise.[11]


  1. ^ "Rediff on the NeT: Former PM Gulzarilal Nanda dead". Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  2. ^ Disha Experts (10 July 2017). General Awareness for SSC Exams - CGL/ CHSL/ MTS/ GD Constable/ Stenographer. Disha Publications. p. 2. ISBN 978-93-86323-29-3.
  3. ^ "She is Proud Past Alumni Allahabad University".
  4. ^ "Internet Archive of Proud Past Alumni".
  5. ^ "Internet Archive of Proud Past Alumni".
  6. ^ Kalhan, Promilla (1997). Gulzarilal Nanda: A Life in the Service of the People. Allied Publishers. p. xvi. ISBN 9788170236931.
  7. ^ "Fifth Lok Sabha -State wise Details – Haryana". Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  8. ^ Former PMs of India Archived 25 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Gulzarilal Nanda Biography – Gulzarilal Nanda Profile, Childhood, Life, Timeline". 15 January 1998. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  10. ^ DEATHS. The Washington Post (18 January 1998). Retrieved on 2018-11-28.
  11. ^ "DEDICATED WORKER ,A – SHRI GULZARILAL NANDA' | Films Division". Retrieved 11 June 2021.

Further reading

Political offices Preceded byLal Bahadur Shastri Minister of Home Affairs 1963–1966 Succeeded byYashwantrao Chavan Preceded byJawaharlal Nehru Prime Minister of India 1964 Succeeded byLal Bahadur Shastri Chairperson of the Planning Commission 1964 Minister of External Affairs 1964 Preceded byLal Bahadur Shastri Prime Minister of India 1966 Succeeded byIndira Gandhi Chairperson of the Planning Commission 1966 Records Preceded byHastings Banda Oldest living state leader 25 November 1997 – 15 January 1998 Succeeded byKonstantinos Kollias