Prime Minister and List of Prime Ministers of India

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Prime Minister and List of Prime Ministers of India

Prime Minister

Article 75 says that the Prime Minister shall be appointed by the president, the president has to appoint the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha as the Prime Minister. In 1980, the Delhi High court ruled that the constitution does not require that a person must prove his majority in the Lok Sabha before he is appointed as the Prime Minister. The president may first appoint him the prime minister and then ask him to prove his majority in the Lok Sabha within a reasonable period.

In 1997, the supreme court held that a person who is not a member of either house of parliament can be appointed as the prime minister for six months, within which, he should become a member of either house of parliament, otherwise, he ceases to be the prime minister.

Constitutionally, the prime minister may be a member of any of two houses of parliament. For example, Indira Gandhi, Deve Gowda, and Manmohan Singh were members of Rajya Sabha.

The president administers the oaths of office and secrecy of the prime minister.

The term of the prime minister is not fixed and he holds the office as long as he enjoys the majority support in the Lok Sabha. However he loses the confidence of the Lok Sabha, he must resign or the president can dismiss him.

Prime minister recommends who can be appointed as ministers by the president. The president can appoint only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the prime minister.

He allocates and reshuffles various portfolios among the ministers.

He can ask the minister to resign or advise the president to dismiss him in case of difference of opinion.

Prime minister stands at the head of the council of ministers, the other ministers cannot function when the prime minister resigns or dies. The resignation or death of an incumbent Prime Minister automatically dissolves the council of ministers and thereby generates a vacuum.

Prime minister is the principal channel of communication between the president and the council of ministers. 

He advises the president with regard to the appointment of important officials like attorney general of India, comptroller and attorney general of India, chairman and members of UPSC, election commissioners, chairman and members of the finance commission and so on.

He advises the president with regard to summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the parliament and can recommend dissolution of the Lok Sabha to the President at any time and to organize fresh elections.

Prime minister announces government policies on the floor of the house.

Other Powers and Functions

He is the chairman of NITI Aayog, national development council, national integration council, inter-state council and national water resources council.

He plays a significant role in shaping the foreign policy of the country.

He is the chief Spokesman of the Union Government.

He is the Crisis manager-in-chief at the political level during emergencies.

List of all prime ministers of India

Jawaharlal Nehru

  • 1947-1964, 16 years, 286 days 
  • The first prime minister of India
  • The longest serving prime minister of India
  • First to die in office
  • He brought the reform of the Ancient Hindu Civil Code.

Gulzarilal Nanda

  • 1964-1964, 13 days
  • First Acting PM of India
  • He was the first interim prime minister of India.
  • He served twice as the acting PM of India.

Lal Bahadur Shastri

  • 1964-1966, 1year, 216 days.
  • He has given the slogan of jai jawan jai kisan during Indo Pak war of 1965.
  • He also promoted the White Revolution in India.

Indira Gandhi

  • 1966-1977, 11 years, 59 days
  • First lady prime minister of India.
  • She was named the Women of the Millennium and is the first lady to receive Bharat Ratna.

Morarji Desai

  • 1977-1979, 2 years 116 days
  • Oldest to become prime minister
  • First to resign from office
  • Also, he formally ended the state of emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi.
  • Moreover, he is the only Indian Prime Minister who got Nishan-e-Pakistan (Pakistan’s highest civilian award).

Charan Singh

  • 1979-1980, 170days
  • Only the PM who did not face the parliament.
  • He removed the Zamindari System and brought Land Reform Acts in India.

Indira Gandhi

  • 1980-1984, 4 years, 291 days
  • The first lady who served as Prime Minister for the second term.
  • She also got Bangladesh Swadhinata Samman. 
  • She is the world’s longest-serving PM.
  • Her courage and boldness helped India win over Pakistan in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Rajiv Gandhi

  • 1984-1989, 5 years, 32 days
  • Youngest to become prime minister @40.
  • Also, he brought computers to India.

VP Singh

  • 1989-1990, 343 days
  • First PM to step down after a vote of no confidence.

Chandra Shekhar

  • 1990-1991, 223 days
  • He belongs to samajwadi janata party

P. V Narasimha Rao

  • 1991-1996, 4 years, 330 days
  • First PM from south India
  • He is known as the Father of Indian Economic Reforms.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

  • 1996-1966, 16 days
  • PM for shortest tenure.
  • He improved India’s telecom industries.
  • Also, he took initiatives to improve Indo- Pak relationships.

H. D. Deve Gowda

  • 1996-1997, 324 days
  • He belongs to janata dal

Inder Kumar Gujaral

  • 1997-1998, 332 Days
  • He resisted signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which paved the path to the Pokhran Nuclear Tests.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

  • 1998-2004, 6 years 64days
  • The first non congress pm who completed full term as PM

Manmohan Singh

  • 2004-2014, 10 years, 2 days
  • First Sikh PM.
  • He founded 8 new IITs in India.
  • He also initiated the National Rural Health Mission.

Narendra Modi

  • 2014-incumbent
  • 4th Prime Minister of India who served two consecutive tenures.
  • Narendra Modi is the 15th Prime Minister (in person) of India.

Articles related to Prime Minister

  • Article 74 Council of ministers to aid and advise the president.
  • Article 75 Other provisions as to ministers.
  • Article 77 Conduct of business of the Government of India.
  • Article 78 Duties of prime minister as respects the furnishing of information to the president, etc.


Fundamental RightsFundamental DutiesPreamble of the Indian constitution
Making of Indian ConstitutionSchedules of Indian constitutionDirective Principles of State Policy
Indian HistoryGeographyBiology

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