List of Prime Ministers of India

List of Prime Ministers of India

The Prime Minister is the real head of the Union executive in India. The Prime Minister is appointed by the President, but the President has to invite only that person to be the Prime Minister who is the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha. If no single party has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, then the President may exercise his personal discretion in the selection and appointment of the Prime Minister. In such a case, the President usually appoints the leader of the largest party or coalition in the Lok Sabha as the Prime Minister and asks him to seek a vote of confidence in the House within a month.

According to the Constitution, the Prime Minister may be a member of any of the two Houses of Parliament. If he is not a member at the time of appointment, he has to acquire it within six months from the state of his appointment as Prime Minister.

Before the Prime Minister enters upon his office, the President of India administers to him the oaths of office and secrecy. The term of the Prime Minister is not fixed and he holds office during the pleasure of the President. However, this does not imply that the President can dismiss the Prime Minister at any time. As long as the Prime Minister enjoys the majority support in the Lok Sabha, he cannot be dismissed by the President. If he loses the confidence (majority) of the Lok Sabha, he must resign or the President can dismiss him. The Prime Minister and his cabinet are at all times responsible to the Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister is ranked third in the order of precedence.

There have been 14 Prime Ministers of India since August 15, 1947, when India gained independence. Apart from these fourteen, one acting Prime Minister has also been in office for short periods of time. Refer to the table given below to learn about the Prime Ministers of India from 1947 to 2022.

Serial NumberNameTenure
1Jawaharlal Nehru15 August 1947 – 27 May 1964
ActingGulzari Lal Nanda27 May 1964 – 9 June 1964
2Lal Bahadur Shastri9 June 1964 – 11 January 1966
ActingGulzari Lal Nanda11 January 1966 – 24 January 1966
3Indira Gandhi24 January 1966 – 24 March 1977
4Morarji Desai24 March 1977 – 28 July 1979
5Chaudhary Charan Singh28 July 1979 – 14 January 1980
3Indira Gandhi14 January 1980 – 31 October 1984
6Rajiv Gandhi31 October 1984 – 2 December 1989
7Vishwanath Pratap Singh2 December 1989 – 10 November 1990
8Chandra Shekhar10 November 1990 – 21 June 1991
9P. V. Narasimha Rao21 June 1991 – 16 May 1996
10Atal Bihari Vajpayee16 May 1996 – 1 June 1996
11H. D. Deve Gowda1 June 1996 – 21 April 1997
12Inder Kumar Gujral21 April 1997 – 19 March 1998
10Atal Bihari Vajpayee19 March 1998 – 22 May 2004
13Manmohan Singh22 May 2004 – 26 May 2014
14Narendra Modi26 May 2014 – Incumbent

Some Important Facts about the Prime Ministers

Some important facts related to the Prime Ministers of India are given below:

  • Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India. He was the longest-serving Prime Minister of India. He was also the first Prime Minister to die in office.
  • Gulzarilal Nanda was the first acting Prime Minister of India.
  • Indira Gandhi was the first female Prime Minister of India.
  • Morarji Desai was the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India. He was the oldest to be appointed as a Prime Minister.
  • Chaudhary Charan Singh was the only Prime Minister of India who did not face confidence vote in Parliament.
  • Rajiv Gandhi was the youngest Prime Minister of India.
  • V. P. Singh was the first Prime Minister to step down from his position after a vote of no confidence.
  • P. V. Narasimha Rao was the first Prime Minister to be appointed from the southern part of the country.
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the only Prime Minister to have had the shortest tenure. Also, he was the first non-Congress Prime Minister who completed a full term as Prime Minister.
  • Manmohan Singh was the first Sikh Prime Minister of India.
  • Narendra Modi is the only Prime Minister who was born after the independence of India.


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