Indrajit Gupta
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
29 June 1996 – 19 March 1998
Prime MinisterH. D. Deve Gowda
I. K. Gujral
Preceded byH. D. Deve Gowda
Succeeded byL. K. Advani
President of World Federation of Trade Unions[1]
In office
Preceded bySándor Gáspár
Succeeded byIbrahim Zakaria
General Secretary of the Communist Party of India
In office
Preceded byChandra Rajeswara Rao
Succeeded byArdhendu Bhushan Bardhan
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
20 October 1989 – 20 February 2001
Preceded byNarayan Choubey
Succeeded byPrabodh Panda
ConstituencyMidnapore, West Bengal
In office
Preceded byAlhaj M.A.Hannan
Succeeded byManoranjan Sur
ConstituencyBasirhat, West Bengal
In office
Preceded byNew Seat
Succeeded bySomnath Chatterjee
ConstituencyAlipore, West Bengal
In office
Preceded byBiren Roy
Succeeded byGanesh Ghosh
ConstituencyCalcutta South West
Personal details
Born(1919-03-18)18 March 1919
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died20 February 2001(2001-02-20) (aged 81)
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Political partyCommunist Party of India

Indrajit Gupta (18 March 1919 – 20 February 2001) was an Indian politician who belonged to the Communist Party of India (CPI). From 1996 to 1998, he served as Union Home Minister in the United Front governments of prime ministers H. D. Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral.[2] That was a dramatic reversal of roles, as the home ministry had, since independence in 1947, banned the CPI thrice, with many of its members, including Gupta, being sent to prison or pushed underground for long stretches.[3] He was the longest-serving member[note 1] having been elected eleven times to the Lok Sabha the lower house of Indian Parliament. He suffered his only electoral reverse when he lost to Ashok Krishna Dutt in 1977 after the CPI supported Emergency.[4][5]

Early life

Gupta belonged to a Baidya family of Calcutta. His paternal grandfather, Behari Lal Gupta, ICS, was the Dewan of Baroda and his elder brother, Ranajit Gupta, ICS, was Chief Secretary of West Bengal. His father, Satish Chandra Gupta (c. 1877–7 September 1964), who belonged to the IA&AS was an Accountant General of India and retired as Secretary of the Central Legislative Assembly in 1933.[6] After his schooling at Ballygunge Govt. High School, he went to Simla, where his father was posted, Gupta studied at St. Stephen's College, Delhi and later went to King's College, Cambridge.[7] While studying in England he came under the influence of Rajani Palme Dutt and joined the communist movement.[8] With a Tripos from the University of Cambridge[7] he returned to Calcutta in 1938 to join the peasants' and workers' movement.[8] He not only had to go to jail for his communist activities but was also sentenced to 'party jail' in 1948 for adopting a soft stand within the party.[8] He went underground in India during 1948–50 when there was a crackdown on Communists.[3]


Gupta was elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament of India, for the first time in 1960, in a by-election. Thereafter, except for a short period from 1977 to 1980, he was a member till his death. In later years, as a result of his being the oldest member of the Lok Sabha he served as pro tem Speaker in 1996, 1998 and 1999. The office of pro tem Speaker is a ceremonial one mainly to conduct the swearing in of the newly elected members.[3][9][10]

Gupta served on a number of parliamentary committees with distinction. He was chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on defence during 1995–1996 and was chairman of the committee on subordinate legislation from 1999 till his death. He was a member of the rules committee during 1990–1991, general purposes committee during 1985–1989 and from 1998 onwards; committee on defence from 1998–2000, committee on petitions during 1986–1987, business advisory committee from 1986–1987 and in 1989, library committee during 1990–1991 and the committee to review Lok Sabha Secretariat rules in 1990.[9]

Gupta was conferred with the ‘Outstanding Parliamentarian’ Award in 1992.[9] He served the Lok Sabha for 37 years, and when he died President K.R. Narayanan paid a tribute, using three characteristics in his condolence message that suitably describes the man: "Gandhian simplicity, democratic outlook and deep commitment to values."[3]


Capital and Labour in the Jute Industry and Self Reliance in National Defence[3]


  1. ^ Note Indrajit Gupta is only the longest serving member of Lok Sabha not Indian Parliament as Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been elected 12 times to Indian Parliament, 10 Times to Lok Sabha and twice to Rajya Sabha while Indrajit Gupta has won 11 times


  1. ^ "Members bio profile of Lok Sabha website". National Informatics Centre, New Delhi & Lok Sabha. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Of principled social commitment".
  3. ^ a b c d e "Biography – Indrajit Gupta". Vol. No. XLIV 07March 2001 B. No.35 (16Phalguna 1922). Research, Reference and Training Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  4. ^ "Freedom fighter and politician Indrajit Gupta passes away". Sumit Mitra. India Today. 5 March 2001. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Indrajit Gupta: longest serving Parliamentarian". Hindustan Times. 13 August 2002. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Obituary Reference" (PDF). Lok Sabha Debates. 33 (3): 651. 9 September 1964. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  7. ^ a b Mitra, Sumit. "Gentleman Communist". Obituary. India Today. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  8. ^ a b c Bose, Anjali, Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary), Appendix of Vol II, 2005, p. 9, (in Bengali), Sansad
  9. ^ a b c "References made to passing away of Shri Indrajit Gupta". Part II Proceedings other than Questions and Answers (XIII Lok Sabha). Lok Sabha Debates. Archived from the original on 19 July 2003. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  10. ^ "Statistical Report on General Elections 1999 to the Thirteenth Lok Sabha" (PDF). Volume I (National and State abstracts). Election Commission of India, New Delhi. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2007.
Political offices Preceded byH. D. Deve Gowda Union Minister for Home Affairs of India 1996–1998 Succeeded byLal Krishna Advani Trade union offices Preceded bySándor Gáspár President of the World Federation of Trade Unions 1989–1990 Succeeded byIbrahim Zakharia