As we all know, India got independence on 15th August, 1947. From then, the country is governed by various Prime Ministers. Till today, India is leaded by 13 prime ministers. Let us have a look on the history of Indian prime ministers and the important events that took place in their tenure.

1) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru:


Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru got the privilege of becoming the first Prime Minister of independent India. His tenure as a Prime Minister was from 15th August, 1947 to 27th May 1964. He became the Prime Minister at the age of 58 and successfully retained the position for a period of 16 years and 9 months.He achieved the Barrister degree from London in 1912. In 1919, while traveling by train, the arrogance of General Dyer has hurt Pandit Nehru’s self respect. This incidence made him join the independence movement.He became the Prime Minister only due to the motivation and support of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Prime Minister regime of Pandit Nehru was not as successful as expected. The reasons were:

a) He did not co-operate with the Muslim league in 1937, due to which, the critics blame him for India-Pakistan partition.

b) He neglected the vices of his political friends, which leaded to increase in corruption.

c) During his whole tenure, he kept the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs under his control.

d) His blind faith on Chou-en-lea and India’s defeat in Indo-China war.

e) Provincial arrangement of Indian languages.

f) His efforts for industrialization, modernization, mixed economy and charismatic democracy proved destructive to Congress party and the country.

After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, Guljarilal Nanda became the acting Prime Minister from 27th May 1964 to 9th June 1964.


2) Lal Bahadur Shastri:

Lal Bahadur_Shastri

a) Lal Bahadur Shastri remained the Indian Prime Minister from 9th June 1964 to 11th January 1966.

b) He became the Prime Minister at the age of 64.

c) He took over the responsibility of the rail accident that took place at Aliyallur on 7th December 1956 and resigned the ministerial of Railway Minister.

d) During India - Pakistan war in 1965, he gave the slogan of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”.

e) In 1966, he signed the Tashkand contract.


3) Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi:


a) India Gandhi was the first lady Prime Minister of India.

b) She was elected as prime Minister for two times. Her working tenure was from:

1) 24 January 1966 - 24 March 1977
2) 14 January 1980-31 October 1984

c) She became the prime Minister at the age of 48 and successfully retained the post for a period of 15years, 11months and 15 days.

d) In the cabinet ministry of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, she was the minister of Information and Broadcasting department.

e) At the age of 12, Indira Gandhi formed the “Wanersena”.

f) Indira Gandhi met Firoz Gandhi in Germany, when her mother Kamala Nehru was being treated there for cancer.

g) She married Firoz Gandhi in 1942.

h) From the age of thirteen, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote letters to Indira Gandhi, which were published in the form of book called “Glimpses of World History”.

i) She became the Congress president in 1959.

j) She was shot dead by her bodyguards, Biyantsing and Satwant Sing at her residence on 31st October 1984.

Important events that took place during her tenure were:

a) Formation of Bangladesh in 1971.

b) Atomic explosion at Pokhran in 1974.

c) Shimla contract in 1972

d) Green Revolution and India-Russia relationship contract.

e) Merging of Sikkim in India in 1975.

f) Operation Blue Star.


4) Morarji Ranchodji Desai:


a) Morarji Desai became the prime Minister at the age of 81.

b) He sustained the position from 24 March 1977 - 28 July 1979.

c) He was the first person, who resigned from the post of Prime Minister.

d) In 1952, he became the Chief Minister of Mumbai province.

e) In 1956, he became the Cabinet Minister.

f) In 1969, he became the Congress president.

g) He is the only Prime Minister to be honored by Bharat Ratna and Nishan - E- Pakistan.


5) Charansing:

a) Charansing became the Prime Minister from 28 July 1979 to 14 January 1980.

b) He became the Prime Minister at the age of 70.

c) He was the only Prime Minister who did not attend the Parliament.

Indira Gandhi again became the Prime Minister after Charansing.


6) Rajeev Gandhi:


a) Rajeev Gandhi was elected as the Prime Minister immediately after the death of Indira Gandhi.

b) His working tenure was from 31 October 1984 to 2 December 1989.

c) He became the Prime Minister at the age of 40 and was the youngest Prime Minister.

d) After the death of Indira Gandhi, he became the congress president on 12 November 1984.

e) In 1981, he resigned from the post of pilot in Indian Airlines.

f) He became the Member of Parliament from Amethi election committee in 1981 and in 1983; he became the Congress Secretary General.

g) He was killed by a human bomb of LTTE at Shriperubandar.

h) He was honored posthumous Bharat Ratna.

Important events that took place during his tenure were:

a) Assam agreement in 1986.

b) Shahabanu case dispute.

c) Ayodhya question.

d) Rapid increase in modernization.


7) Vishwanath Pratap Singh:

a) V.P Singh was the Prime Minister from 2 December 1989 to 10 November 1990.

b) No confidence motion was passed against his government by 142 votes and he was the Prime Minister to be dissolved by no-confidence motion.

c) He acted as the Minister of Commerce and Trade in the Cabinet Ministry during 1983-84.

d) He was the Finance Minister in 1985

e) He was the Defence Minister in1987.


8) Chandrashekhar:

a) Chandrashekhar took the Prime Minister’s oath on 10 November 1990 and continued over the post till 21 June 1927.

b) He was the first prime Minister who took the Prime Minister’s oath in Rashtrapati Bhawan instead of Darbar Hall.

c) He resigned from the post in 1991 due to some misunderstandings with Rajeev Gandhi. But on the death of Gandhi he was asked by the then President to work as the acting Prime minister.

d) He joined the Congress in1969 and leaded the “Young Turk” group.

e) He arranged a 4260 Km. march from Kanyakumari to Rajghat in 1983.

f) In 1990, he started “Operation Vijay “against ULFA.

g) He wrote books named, “Meri Jail Diary” and “Dynamics of Social Change”.

9) P. V. Narsinha Rao:

Narsimha Rao

a) P.V Narsinha Rao was the Prime Minister of India from 21 June 1991 to 15 May 1996.

b) He was born in the naxalite district of Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh.

c) During the period of 1971-73, he was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

d) He had proficiency on various languages like Telgu, Marathi, Urdu, Persian, French, and English.

e) He translated the novel called “Vethi Pajgalu” in Hindi, originally written by Vishwanath Satyanarayan. The translated novel was named as, “Sahastra Fal”.

f) During his tenure there began the specification of country’s economy.

g) His regime also became popular due to Bofors Scam, Urea Fertilizer scam.

h) He wrote a novel called “Insider”.


10) Hardanalli Devegauda:

a) H.D Devegauda was the twelfth Prime minister of India.

b) His tenure was from 1 June 1996 to 20April 1997.

c) During 1996 Loksabha election, not a single party won by majority. Due to which the United Front Government came into force under the leadership of H.D Devegauda.

d) This government was having the support of congress. But the congress president Sitaram Kesari had withdrawn the support and a no- confidence motion was passed against the government resulting in its dissolution in 11 April 1997.


11) Indrakumar Gujral:

a) After Devegauda’s resignation, I.K Gujral became the Prime Minister of United Front’s government.

b) In Indira Gandhi’s cabinet ministry, Gujral was the Radio minister during national emergency.

c) He was the minister of foreign affairs in P.V Narsinha Rao’s ministry.

d) His agenda of improving the relations with the neighboring countries was known as, “Gujral Niti”.

e) Gujral government was dissolved due to the withdrawal of congress support.


12) Atal Bihari Vajpayee:


a) The working tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was as follows:

1) 16 May 1996 - 28 May 1996
2) 19 March 1998 - 13 October 1999
3) 13 October 1999- 21 May 2004.

b) He is the Member Of Parliament from 1957 and he is honored as the best Member of Parliament.

c) He was the chief of the UNO delegation in India.

d) He was the opposition leader from 1993.

e) He is a good poet and orator.

f) His first tenure was dissolved in spite of gaining maximum seats in the 11th Loksabha election. His government failed to prove the majority and was collapsed in 13 days.

g) During 12th Loksabha election, not a single party won by majority. Maximum members of Bhartiya Janata Party were elected, due to which they were asked to form a government. This new government came into existence in 1998 under the leadership of A.B Vajpayee. But this government too collapsed by one vote in 1999.


h) The third government under the leadership of Vajpayee came into force on 13th October 1999.
Important Events of this tenure were:

1) Kargil War

2) Plane Hijack

3) Parvez Musharraf Millitary reign in Pakistan.



5) Recession


6) Tehalka scandal in 2001

7) Terrorist attack on Parliament

8) 11th SAARC summit.

i) In 2002, the violence in Gujarat due to Ayodhya question and Godhra Case made the government unstable.


13) Dr. Manmohan Sing:


a) On 22nd May 2004, under the leadership of congress, Dr. Manmohan Sing became the Prime Minister of United Progressive Front.

b) He became the 14th Prime minister of the country and the first Prime minister from Sikh community.

c) After long and clean service in the administration, he became the Finance Minister in 1991.

d) During this period, the country’s economy was going through a delicate phase. Following were the challenges for the country’s economy:

1) There was a reduction in foreign currency and the country was running in debt.

2) The rate of inflation was out of control.

e) These situations were prevailing day by day and to bring the country’s economy on the right track was a challenge for Manmohan Sing.

f) He was the true knight of the economic liberalization and globalization which began in the reign of P.V Narsinha Rao.

g) He brought the country’s economy in motion through the four point formula, which included investment, partnership, increase in income and increase in export.

h) His fundamental performance brought the country’s economy in bright phase.

i) Manmohan Sing was born on 26 September 1932 in the Gah city of Western Punjab. He obtained the economics degree from the Oxford University.

j) He was the governor of Reserve Bank of India in 1984-85.

k) He was elected as the Member of Parliament for the first time from Assam in 1991.

l) He was honored with Padmabhusan award in 1987. In 1993, he was honored with Uromani award, which is given to the finance minister and in 1993-1994 he was esteemed with Ashiamani award for the Best Finance Minister. 

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