The Prime Minister of India is the chief executive of the Government of India.[1][2] Although the President of India is the constitutional, nominal, and ceremonial head of state,[3][4][5][6] in practice and ordinarily, the executive authority is vested in the Prime Minister and their chosen Council of Ministers.[7][8][6] The prime minister is the leader elected by the party with a majority in the lower house of the Indian parliament, the Lok Sabha, which is the main legislative body in the Republic of India.[9] The prime minister and their cabinet are at all times responsible to the Lok Sabha.[10][11] The prime minister can be a member of the Lok Sabha or of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the parliament. The prime minister ranks third in the order of precedence.

The prime minister is appointed by the President of India; however, the prime minister has to enjoy the confidence of the majority of Lok Sabha members, who are directly elected every five years, unless a prime minister resigns. The prime minister is the presiding member of the Council of Ministers of the Union government. The prime minister unilaterally controls the selection and dismissal of members of the Council; and allocation of posts to members within the government. This Council, which is collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha as per Article 75(3), assists the President regarding the operations under the latter's powers; however, by the virtue of Article 74 of the Constitution, such 'aid and advice' tendered by the Council is binding.

Since 1947, India has had 14 prime ministers.[a] Jawaharlal Nehru was India's first prime minister, serving as prime minister of the Dominion of India from 15 August 1947 until 26 January 1950, and thereafter of the Republic of India until his death in May 1964. (India conducted its first post-independence general elections in 1952). Earlier, Nehru had served as prime minister of the Interim Government of India during the British Raj from 2 September 1946 until 14 August 1947, his party, the Indian National Congress having won the 1946 Indian provincial elections.) Nehru was succeeded by Lal Bahadur Shastri, whose 1 year 7-month term ended in his death in Tashkent, then in the USSR, where he had signed the Tashkent Declaration between India and Pakistan.[13] Indira Gandhi, Nehru's daughter, succeeded Shastri in 1966 to become the country's first female prime minister.[14] Eleven years later, her party the Indian National Congress lost the 1977 Indian general election to the Janata Party, whose leader Morarji Desai became the first non-Congress prime minister.[15] After Desai resigned in 1979, his former associate Charan Singh briefly held office until the Congress won the 1980 Indian general election and Indira Gandhi returned as prime minister.[16] Her second term as prime minister ended five years later on 31 October 1984, when she was assassinated by her bodyguards.[14] Her son Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as India's youngest premier. Members of Nehru–Gandhi family have been prime minister for approximately 38 years.[17]

After a general election loss, Rajiv Gandhi's five-year term ended; his former cabinet colleague, Vishwanath Pratap Singh of the Janata Dal, formed the year-long National Front coalition government in 1989. A seven-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, Rajiv Gandhi having been assassinated earlier that year.[18] Rao's five-year term was succeeded by four short-lived governments—Atal Bihari Vajpayee from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for 13 days in 1996, a year each under United Front prime ministers H. D. Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujral, and Vajpayee again for 19 months in 1998–99.[18] In 1998, Vajpayee's National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won the general election, the first non-Congress alliance to do so, and he served a full five-year term as prime minister.[19] The Congress, and its United Progressive Alliance won the general elections in 2004 and 2009, Manmohan Singh serving as prime minister between 2004 and 2014.[20] The BJP won the 2014 Indian general election, and its parliamentary leader Narendra Modi formed the first non-Congress single party majority government. Modi has served as prime minister since, his party winning the 2014 Indian general election.[21]

List of prime ministers of India

Legend
  BJP   (2)[b]   INC/INC(I)/INC(R)  [c] (6+1 acting[d])   JD   (3)   JP   (1)   JP(S)   (1)   SJP(R)   (1)
No. Portrait Name
(birth and death)
Constituency Term of office[23] Time in office Lok Sabha[e] Ministry Appointed by Party
Took office Left office
1
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
(1889–1964)
Constituent Assembly member for United Provinces 15 August 1947 15 April 1952 16 years, 286 days Constituent Assembly[f] Nehru I C. Rajagopalachari Indian National Congress
Rajendra Prasad
Phulpur 15 April 1952 17 April 1957 1st Nehru II
17 April 1957 2 April 1962 2nd Nehru III
2 April 1962 27 May 1964 3rd Nehru IV
-
Gulzarilal Nanda 1.jpg
Gulzarilal Nanda
(1898–1998)
Sabarkantha 27 May 1964 9 June 1964 13 days Nanda I Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
2
Lal Bahadur Shastri (from stamp).jpg
Lal Bahadur Shastri
(1904–1966)
Allahabad 9 June 1964 11 January 1966 1 year, 216 days Shastri
-
Gulzarilal Nanda 1.jpg
Gulzarilal Nanda
(1898–1998)
Sabarkantha 11 January 1966 24 January 1966 13 days Nanda I
3
Indira Gandhi official portrait.png
Indira Gandhi
(1917–1984)
Rajya Sabha MP for Uttar Pradesh 24 January 1966 4 March 1967 11 years, 59 days Indira I
Rae Bareli 4 March 1967 15 March 1971 4th
15 March 1971 24 March 1977 5th Indira II V. V. Giri
4
Morarji Desai During his visit to the United States of America (cropped).jpg
Morarji Desai
(1896–1995)
Surat 24 March 1977 28 July 1979[RES] 2 years, 126 days 6th Desai B. D. Jatti
(acting)
Janata Party
5
Prime minister Charan Singh.jpg
Charan Singh
(1902–1987)
Baghpat 28 July 1979 14 January 1980[RES] 170 days Charan Neelam Sanjiva Reddy Janata Party (Secular)
(3)
Indira Gandhi official portrait.png
Indira Gandhi
(1917–1984)
Medak 14 January 1980[§] 31 October 1984 4 years, 291 days 7th Indira III Indian National Congress (I)
6
Rajiv Gandhi in 1986.jpg
Rajiv Gandhi
(1944–1991)
Amethi 31 October 1984 31 December 1984 5 years, 32 days Rajiv Zail Singh
31 December 1984 2 December 1989 8th
7
Visit of Vishwanath Pratap Sing, Indian Minister for Trade, to the CEC (cropped).jpg
Vishwanath Pratap Singh
(1931–2008)
Fatehpur 2 December 1989 10 November 1990[NC] 343 days 9th Vishwanath R. Venkataraman Janata Dal
(National Front)
8
Chandra Shekhar Singh 2010 stamp of India.jpg
Chandra Shekhar
(1927–2007)
Ballia 10 November 1990 21 June 1991[RES] 223 days Chandra Shekhar Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya)
9
Visit of Narasimha Rao, Indian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the CEC (cropped)(2).jpg
P. V. Narasimha Rao
(1921–2004)
Nandyal 21 June 1991 16 May 1996 4 years, 330 days 10th Rao Indian National Congress (I)
10
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (crop 2).jpg
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
(1924–2018)
Lucknow 16 May 1996 1 June 1996[RES] 16 days 11th Vajpayee I Shankar Dayal Sharma Bharatiya Janata Party
11
H. D. Deve Gowda BNC.jpg
H. D. Deve Gowda
(born 1933)
Rajya Sabha MP for Karnataka 1 June 1996 21 April 1997[RES] 324 days Deve Gowda Janata Dal
(United Front)
12
Inder Kumar Gujral 017.jpg
Inder Kumar Gujral
(1919–2012)
Rajya Sabha MP for Bihar 21 April 1997 19 March 1998[RES] 332 days Gujral
(10)
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (crop 2).jpg
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
(1924–2018)
Lucknow 19 March 1998[§] 13 October 1999[NC] 6 years, 64 days 12th Vajpayee II K. R. Narayanan Bharatiya Janata Party
(NDA)
13 October 1999 22 May 2004 13th Vajpayee III
13
Official Portrait of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.jpg
Manmohan Singh
(born 1932)
Rajya Sabha MP for Assam 22 May 2004 22 May 2009 10 years, 4 days 14th Manmohan I A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Indian National Congress
(UPA)
22 May 2009 26 May 2014 15th Manmohan II Pratibha Patil
14
Official Photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Potrait.png
Narendra Modi
(born 1950)
Varanasi 26 May 2014 30 May 2019 8 years, 166 days 16th Modi I Pranab Mukherjee Bharatiya Janata Party
(NDA)
30 May 2019 Incumbent 17th Modi II Ram Nath Kovind

Timeline

Narendra ModiManmohan SinghInder Kumar GujralH. D. Deve GowdaAtal Bihari VajpayeeP. V. Narasimha RaoChandra ShekharVishwanath Pratap SinghRajiv GandhiCharan SinghMorarji DesaiIndira GandhiLal Bahadur ShastriGulzarilal NandaJawaharlal Nehru

Time in offices

List of prime ministers by length of term
No. Name Party Length of term
Longest continuous term Total years of premiership
1 Jawaharlal Nehru INC 16 years, 286 days 16 years, 286 days
2 Indira Gandhi INC/INC(I)/INC(R) 11 years, 59 days 15 years, 350 days
3 Manmohan Singh INC 10 years, 4 days 10 years, 4 days
4 Narendra Modi BJP 8 years, 166 days 8 years, 166 days
5 Atal Bihari Vajpayee BJP 6 years, 64 days 6 years, 80 days
6 Rajiv Gandhi INC(I) 5 years, 32 days 5 years, 32 days
7 P. V. Narasimha Rao INC(I) 4 years, 330 days 4 years, 330 days
8 Morarji Desai JP 2 years, 126 days 2 years, 126 days
9 Lal Bahadur Shastri INC 1 year, 216 days 1 year, 216 days
10 Vishwanath Pratap Singh JD 343 days 343 days
11 Inder Kumar Gujral JD 332 days 332 days
12 H. D. Deve Gowda JD 324 days 324 days
13 Chandra Shekhar SJP(R) 223 days 223 days
14 Charan Singh JP(S) 170 days 170 days
Acting Gulzarilal Nanda INC 13 days 26 days
List by party
Political parties by total timespan of their member holding PMO (22 July 2022)
No. Political party Number of Prime ministers Total years of holding PMO
1 INC/INC(I)/INC(R) 6 (+1 acting) 54 years, 123 days
2 BJP 2 14 years, 243 days
3 JD 3 2 years, 269 days
4 JP 1 2 years, 126 days
5 SJP(R) 1 223 days
6 JP(S) 1 170 days
Parties by total duration (in years) of holding Prime Minister's Office
10
20
30
40
50
60
INC
BJP
JD
JP
JP(S)
SJP(R)

See also

Footnotes

Notes

  1. ^ 15 including Gulzarilal Nanda who twice acted in the role, of which 6 having at least one full term, ruling country for about 60 years.[12]
  2. ^ In office
  3. ^ Known as Indian National Congress (R) between 1969–1978 and Indian National Congress (I) between 1978–96.[22]
  4. ^ Gulzarilal Nanda twice appointed as acting Prime minister of India following deaths of two prime ministers.
  5. ^ Although the prime minister can be a member of either house of the Parliament, they have to command the confidence of the Lok Sabha. Upon dissolution of the Lok Sabha, the outgoing PM remains in office until their successor is sworn in.
  6. ^ The Constituent Assembly of India consisted of 389 members elected in 1946 by the provincial assemblies by a single, transferable-vote system of proportional representation. The Assembly was replaced by the Provisional Parliament of India after adoption of the Constitution on 26 January 1950 until the first general elections.

References

  1. ^ Pillay, Anashri (2019), "The Constitution of the Republic of India", in Masterman, Roger; Schütze, Robert (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Comparative Constitutional Law, Cambridge University Press, pp. 146–147, doi:10.1017/9781316716731, ISBN 978-1-107-16781-0, LCCN 2019019723, S2CID 219881288,  The head of government is the Prime Minister.
  2. ^ Dam, Shubhankar (2016), "Executive", in Choudhry, Sujit; Khosla, Madhav; Mehta, Pratap Bhanu (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, p. 307, ISBN 978-0-19-870489-8, The Prime Minister is the head of government.
  3. ^ Pillay, Anashri (2019), "The Constitution of the Republic of India", in Masterman, Roger; Schütze, Robert (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Comparative Constitutional Law, Cambridge University Press, pp. 146–147, doi:10.1017/9781316716731, ISBN 978-1-107-16781-0, LCCN 2019019723, S2CID 219881288,  An elected President is the nominal head of state but exercises little power.
  4. ^ Majeed, Akhtar (2005), "Republic of India", in Kincaid, John; Tarr, G. Alan (eds.), Constitutional Origins, Structure, and Change in Federal Countries, A Global Dialogue on Federalism, Volume I, Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press for Forum of Federation and International Association of Centers for Federal Studies, pp. 180–207, 185, ISBN 0-7735-2849-0,  ...The president is the constitutional head. (p. 185)
  5. ^ Dam, Shubhankar (2016), "Executive", in Choudhry, Sujit; Khosla, Madhav; Mehta, Pratap Bhanu (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, p. 307, ISBN 978-0-19-870489-8, The President is the head of the Union of India
  6. ^ a b Singh, Nirvikar (2018), "Holding India Together: The Role of Institutions of Federalism", in Mishra, Ajit; Ray, Tridip (eds.), Markets, Governance, and Institutions: In the Process of Economic Development, Oxford University Press, pp. 300–323, 306, ISBN 978-0-19-881255-5
  7. ^ Majeed, Akhtar (2005), "Republic of India", in Kincaid, John; Tarr, G. Alan (eds.), Constitutional Origins, Structure, and Change in Federal Countries, A Global Dialogue on Federalism, Volume I, Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press for Forum of Federation and International Association of Centers for Federal Studies, pp. 180–207, 185, ISBN 0-7735-2849-0,  ...the executive authority is vested in the prime minister and in their Council of Ministers. (p. 185)
  8. ^ Dam, Shubhankar (2016), "Executive", in Choudhry, Sujit; Khosla, Madhav; Mehta, Pratap Bhanu (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, p. 307, ISBN 978-0-19-870489-8, Executive power, ordinarily, is exercised by Prime Minister.
  9. ^ Pillay, Anashri (2019), "The Constitution of the Republic of India", in Masterman, Roger; Schütze, Robert (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Comparative Constitutional Law, Cambridge University Press, pp. 146–147, doi:10.1017/9781316716731, ISBN 978-1-107-16781-0, LCCN 2019019723, S2CID 219881288,  ... Like the British system, there are two houses of parliament – the Lok Sabha, which has 545 members, is the main legislative body. In practice, it is the party with a majority in the Lok Sabha which elects its leader as the Prime Minister.
  10. ^ Dam, Shubhankar (2016), "Executive", in Choudhry, Sujit; Khosla, Madhav; Mehta, Pratap Bhanu (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, p. 307, ISBN 978-0-19-870489-8,  Along with his or her cabinet, the Prime Minister is responsible to the Lower House of Parliament.
  11. ^ Majeed, Akhtar (2005), "Republic of India", in Kincaid, John; Tarr, G. Alan (eds.), Constitutional Origins, Structure, and Change in Federal Countries, A Global Dialogue on Federalism, Volume I, Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press for Forum of Federation and International Association of Centers for Federal Studies, pp. 180–207, 185, ISBN 0-7735-2849-0,  ...Both for the Union and the states, a "cabinet-type" system of parliamentary government has been instituted in which the executive is continuously responsible to the legislature. (p. 185)
  12. ^ Mahurkar, Uday (15 May 1996). "At 98, two-time interim PM Gulzarilal Nanda is the epitome of Gandhian ideals". India Today. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  13. ^ Malhotra, Inder (15 January 1995). "Book review: Lal Bahadur Shastri Prime Minister of India 1964-66: A Life of Truth in Politics". India Today. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  14. ^ a b Vijaykumar, Neeti (19 January 2017). "Today in 1966: Indira Gandhi becomes Prime Minister". The Week. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Before Modi, there was Morarjibhai". Rediff.com. 7 April 2014. Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  16. ^ "JD-U demands Bharat Ratna to former PM Charan Singh". The Economic Times. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  17. ^ Denyer, Simon (2 December 2011). "In India, next generation of Gandhi dynasty". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 28 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  18. ^ a b Iype, George (3 May 2004). "What the former PMs are doing". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  19. ^ Ghosh, Deepshikha (16 August 2018). "Atal Bihari Vajpayee: The 3-Time PM Who Captivated India With His Oratory". NDTV. Archived from the original on 23 December 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  20. ^ "PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi Greet Manmohan Singh On His 86th Birthday". Outlook. 26 September 2018. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  21. ^ Panda, Ankit (16 May 2014). "BJP, Modi Win Landslide Victory in Indian Elections". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  22. ^ Statistical Report on General Elections, 1980 to the Seventh Lok Sabha (PDF). New Delhi: Election Commission of India. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Former Prime Ministers". PM India. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.