The Prime Minister of India is the head of the Indian government. When a political party wins a general election, the party nominates a candidate for Prime minister’s post. Then the president appoints him or her as the prime minister. Thus, the leader of the political party becomes the prime minister of India.

The first prime minister of India was appointed in 1947. Currently, India’s prime minister is Narendra Modi. The next general election for prime minister should be held in 2024.

It has been 71 years since India got its independence. Since then, India has had 19 prime ministers. In this article, a detailed list of all Indian prime ministers is given.

Prime Minister of India: The List

Prime Ministers of India: On 15th August 1947 Jawahar Lal Nehru was appointed as the first prime minister of India. Narendra Damodardas Modi is the prime minister of India at present. From 1947 to 2021, the list of prime ministers is given below.

Prime Minister NamePeriod
Jawahar Lal Nehru15-Aug-1947 to 27-May-1964
Gulzarilal Nanda27-May-1964 to 9 June 1964
Lal Bahadur Shastri09-Jun-1964 to 11-Jan-1966
Gulzarilal Nanda11-Jan-1966 to 24 January 1966
Indira Gandhi24-Jan-1966 to 24-Mar-1977
Morarji Desai24-Mar-1977 to 28-Jul-1979
Charan Singh28-Jul-1979 to 14-Jan-1980
Indira Gandhi14-Jan-1980 to 31-Oct-1984
Rajiv Gandhi31-Oct-1984 to 02-Dec-1989
Vishwanath PratapSingh02-Dec-1989 to 10-Nov-1990
Chandra Shekhar10-Nov-1990 to 21-Jun-1991
P. V. Narasimha Rao21-Jun-1991 to 16-May-1996
Atal Bihari Vajpayee16-May-1996 to 01-Jun-1996
H. D. Deve Gowda01-Jun-1996 to 21-Apr-1997
Atal Bihari Vajpayee19-Mar-1998 to 22-May-2004
Dr. Manmohan   Singh22-May-2004 to 26-May-2014
Narendra Damodardas Modi26-May-2014  to Incumbent

List of Prime Ministers of India with details

  1. Narendra Damodardas Modi (2014-Incumbent)

Chandra Shekhar Singh was India’s 8th Prime Minister who served from 10th November 1990 to 21st June 1991. He was the prime minister of a minority government. He is the first prime minister who never held any government office. Critics see his government as a “puppet government” because it had very few party Mps in Lok Sabha. In 1991, the economic crisis of India and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi made the situation worse.

2.      Manmohan Singh (2004-2014)

Manmohan Singh is the 13th prime minister of India, serving from 2004 to 2014. He is also an academic, economist, and politician. After Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, he is the longest serving prime minister of India. At present, he is a member of Rajya Sabha, representing Rajasthan. Manmohan Singh is also the first Sikh prime minister of India who was also a part of Indian National Congress. After completing a full five-year term, he was reelected as the prime minister like Jawaharlal Nehru. Manmohan Singh was the governor of RBI and also received Padma Vibhushan award.

3.      Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1996, 1998-99, 1999-2004)

Prime Ministers of India: Atal Bihari Vajpayee served India as a prime minister for three times. First, in the year of 1996, he served India for 13 days. Later he was appointed as a prime minister for 13 months in 1998. For the third time, he served India as a full term prime minister from 1999 to 2004. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also the co-founder of Bharatiya Janata Party. He was the first non-congress prime minister who served India for a full term in office. Apart from being a politician, he was also a writer and a poet.

4.      Inder Kumar Gujral (1997-1998)

From April 1997 to March 1998, Inder Kumar Gujral served India as its 12th prime minister. He was a politician, diplomat, and a freedom activist. He was imprisoned for taking part in the Quit India Movement. Later in the year of 1964, he joined Indian National congress. Soon he became a member of the Rajya Sabha and the Parliament. In 1996 Inder Kumar Gujral became the Minister of External Affairs and developed Gujral doctrine.

5.      HD Deve Gowda (1996-1997)

Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda is from Karnataka who became the 11th prime minister of India. He served India from 1st June 1996 to 21st April 1997. Before that he became the 14th chief minister of Karnataka and served from 1994 to 1996. At present he is a member of parliament and represents Karnataka in Rajya Sabha. He is also the national president of Janta Dal party.

6.      PV Narasimha Rao (1991-1996)

Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao was an Indian politician and a lawyer who served India as its 19th prime minister. From 1991 to 1996, he was appointed as the prime minister. He was also called as the ‘Father of Indian Economic Reforms”. He was the first South Indian and the second non-Hindu, who became a prime minister of India. Rao brought some important changes in the economy of India which was later followed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh. He also appointed Manmohan Singh as the finance minister to bring a major economic change in India. During this time, Manmohan Singh reformed International Monetary Fund policies which saved India from a major economic collapse. Because of this economic understanding, Rao is also called the Chanakya.

7.      Chandra Shekhar Singh (1990-1991)

Chandra Shekhar Singh was the 8th prime minister of India who served from 10th November 1990 to 21st June 1991. He was the prime minister of a minority government. He is the first prime minister who never held any government office. Critics see his government as a “puppet government” because it had very few party Mps in Lok Sabha. In 1991, the economic crisis of India and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi made the situation worse.

8.      VP Singh (1989-1990)

Prime Ministers of India: From 1989 to 1990, Vishwanath Pratap Singh served India as its 7th Prime Minister. He was also the 41st Raja Bahadur of Manda. Vishwanath Pratap Singh is the only prime minister who belongs to a royal family. In the year of 1969, he joined Indian National Congress and became a member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. In 1980, he also became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. During Rajiv Gandhi’s ministry, he got different cabinet posts which included Minister of Defense and Minister of Finance. From 1984 to 1987, he became the leader of Rajya Sabha as well. After a lot of controversial events, on 7th November, 1990, Singh resigned from his post of prime minister. His tenure was for 343 days.

9.      Rajiv Gandhi (1984-89)

Rajiv Gandhi was the sixth prime minister of India who served from 1984 to 1989. After his mother, Indira Gandhi, he took the office and became the youngest prime minister at the age of 40. Rajiv Gandhi belonged from the popular and politically powerful Nehru-Gandhi family which was associated with Indian National Congress for years. In his later life he became a member of Lok Sabha and the general secretary of Congress party. After the death of his mother, he became the prime minister. His tenure was full of controversies. Till 1991, he remained the president of Congress. In 1991, he was also awarded Bharat Ratna.

10. Chaudhary Charan Singh (1979-80)

Chaudhary Charan Singh was the fifth prime minister of India and served the nation from 28th July 1979 to 14th January 1980. Frequently he is referred to as the ‘champion of India’s peasants.’ He got motivated by Mohandas Gandhi and entered Indian politics. Chaudhary Charan Singh also became one of the three major leaders of the Congress party between 1952 and 1967.

11. Morarji Desai (1977-79)

Morarji Ranchhodji Desai was the fourth prime minister of India who served this country between 1977 and 1879. He was also an Indian independence fighter and the leader of Janata Party. He remained in Indian politics for a long time. During this career, he was given a lot of important posts like Home Minister, Finance Minister, Chief Minister of Bombay State, and second Deputy Prime Minister of India.

12. Indira Gandhi (1966-1977, 1980-1984)

Indira Gandhi was one of the major political figures in the Indian National Congress. She was a true politician and became the third prime minister of India. Jawaharlal Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, was also the first and only female prime minister of India. Her tenure as the Prime Minister, she was from January 1966 to March 1977 and then again from January 1980 to October 1984. She was also the second longest serving prime minister after Jawaharlal Nehru.

13. Gulzarilal Nanda (1964, 1966)

Gulzarilal Nanda was an Indian economist who focused on labor issues. He was an Interim Prime Minister for two 13 days after the deaths of Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri. In the year of 1997, he was awarded Bharat Ratna.

14. Lal Bahadur Shastri (1964-1966)

Lal Bahadur Shastri was the second prime minister of India who served India from 1964 to 1966. He was the one who promoted White Revolution to boost the production of milk and also created a National Dairy Development Board. In 1965 he also promoted the Green Revolution of India. He was also appointed in numerous prominent positions like Home Minister and Railways Minister. Lal Bahadur Shastri was also posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna.

15. Jawaharlal Nehru (1947-1964)

Jawaharlal Nehru became India’s first Prime Minister after independence and served the nation for the next 17 years. He was a prominent figure in the Indian Nationalist Movement. Nehru was a secular humanist, a social democrat, an author, and an anti-colonial nationalist. Under his leadership, the National Congress became the dominating political party and won many elections. Till now his birthday is celebrated as Children’s Day.

Prime Ministers of India List- FAQs

Who was the prime minister of India during the 1965 Indo-Pak war?

Ans: Lal Bahadur Shastri was the prime minister of India during the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

Who elects a prime minister?

Ans: Members of Lok Sabha elect a prime minister.

Which prime minister became the governor of RBI?

Ans: Manmohan Singh also became the governor of RBI.

Who succeeded Jawaharlal Nehru as Indian prime minister?

Ans: Gulzarilal Nandan became the prime minister of India after Jawaharlal Nehru.

Whose birthday is celebrated as Children’s day in India?

Ans: Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday is celebrated as children’s day.

Who became the president of National Congress after Rajiv Gandhi?

Ans: PV Narasimha Rao became the president of National Congress after Rajiv Gandhi.

Which prime minister is also known as the ‘Man of Peace’?

Ans: Lal Bahadur Shastri is known as the ‘Man of Peace’.

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