Famous Indian Political Leaders

India has a large number of political parties; it is estimated that over 200 parties were formed after India became independent in 1947. Jawaharlal Nehru, a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence became the first Prime Minister of India. He is considered to be the architect of the modern Indian nation-state. Rajendra Prasad, a freedom fighter during the Indian independence movement was the first President of independent India, and also the longest-serving president, for 12 years. Prominent philosopher and writer Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was also a much acclaimed political leader who served as the president of India from 1962 to 1967. Lal Bahadur Shastri, of the Indian National Congress, was the prime minister during a part of Radhakrishnan’s tenure. Jawaharlal Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi created history when she became the first female Prime Minister of India. As a political leader, she was known for her political ruthlessness and unprecedented centralization of power. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a veteran politician and poet, is also counted amongst the greatest prime ministers of the nation. One of the most respected presidents of the country, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was a scientist who played a leading role in the development of India's nuclear weapons programs. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Indian political leaders.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi.
23
Famous As: Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: September 17, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vadnagar, Gujarat, India

The 14th PM of India, Narendra Modi, created history when he became the first prime minister outside of the Congress party to win two consecutive terms with a full majority; he achieved this feat in 2019. From Bharatiya Janata Party worker to India’s PM, Modi’s journey is remarkable. However, he’s been plagued by controversies too, including the handling of 2002 Gujarat riots.

 2 Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
9
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: December 25, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gwalior
Died: August 16, 2018

Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the 10th Prime Minister of India and was the first prime minister who did not belong to the Indian National Congress. The BJP politician had been a journalist and an RSS member. He was a noted poet, too. During his tenure as prime minister, he carried out Pokhran II nuclear tests in 1998 and declared India as a country with nuclear weapons capability.

 3 Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi.
7
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: August 20, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Died: May 21, 1991

Rajiv Gandhi was the sixth and the youngest Prime Minister of India. He played a major role in suhering the computer era in India. During the initial phase of his term, he was very popular but later on his regime was marred by corruption scandals and he lost the next election. He was assassinated by Tamil militants, while he was the leader of the opposition. 

 4 B. R. Ambedkar

B. R. Ambedkar.
12
Famous As: Indian Jurist
Birthdate: April 14, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dr. Ambedkar Nagar, Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: December 6, 1956

India's first Minister of Law and Justice, B. R. Ambedkar inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement. He also fought against social discrimination prevalent in India at that time. Widely regarded as the chief architect of the Constitution of India, Ambedkar was posthumously honored with India's highest civilian award - The Bharat Ratna.

 5 M. G. Ramachandran

M. G. Ramachandran.
6
Famous As: Actor, Politician
Birthdate: January 17, 1917
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kandy, British Ceylon (Now Sri Lanka)
Died: December 24, 1987

M. G. Ramachandran was an Indian actor-turned-politician who served as the third chief minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. He is credited with founding one of the most popular political parties of Tamil Nadu, The AIADMK. Widely regarded as a humanitarian and cultural icon, Ramachandran's portraits can still be seen all over Tamil Nadu.

 6 Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi.
14
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: November 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: October 31, 1984

The third Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi served as PM from 1966 till 1977 and then again from 1980 till her assassination in October 1984. She is considered one of India’s strongest PM and is hailed for leading India to victory over Pakistan in 1971, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. However, she is also categorised as authoritarian and is criticised for imposing Emergency in 1975.

 7 Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
4
Famous As: Indian teacher
Birthdate: July 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ratnagiri, British India (present-day Maharashtra, India)
Died: August 1, 1920
Indian nationalist and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, also known as Lokmanya Tilak, promoted the concept of Swaraj, or self-rule. He was part of the freedom-fighter trio know as Lal Bal Pal, along with fellow Indian National Congress members Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal.
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 8 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
7
Famous As: Iron Man of India
Birthdate: October 31, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nadiad
Died: December 15, 1950

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was an Indian politician who played an influential role in the Indian independence movement. Dubbed the Iron Man of India and Unifier of India, Sardar Patel played an important role in integrating various princely states into a united, independent nation. In 2018, the world's tallest statue called the Statue of Unity was dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

 9 Subhas Chandra Bose

Subhas Chandra Bose.
11
Famous As: Political leader
Birthdate: January 23, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cuttack, Bengal Presidency, British India (present-day Odisha, India)
Died: August 18, 1945

An Indian nationalist known for his role in the country’s struggle for freedom from the British, Subhas Chandra Bose was a politician with radical views. He was part of the Indian National Congress in the late 1920s and 1930s. However, his association with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan made him a controversial figure.

 10 Rajendra Prasad

Rajendra Prasad.
4
Famous As: Former President of India
Birthdate: December 3, 1884
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ziradei, Siwan, Bihar
Died: February 28, 1963
Rajendra Prasad was India’s first and longest-tenured president, from 1950 to 1962. He was re-elected in 1957, thus becoming the only Indian president to serve two terms. He had previously been a freedom fighter and later also served as the president of the Constituent Assembly, which drafted India’s constitution.

 11 Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi.
55
Famous As: Leader of Indian Independence Movement
Birthdate: October 2, 1869
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British Indian Empire
Died: January 30, 1948

An Indian lawyer and anti-colonial nationalist, Mahatma Gandhi was a major figure in India’s fight for independence from British rule. He is renowned for his employment of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience methods. Despite his popularity, he had numerous detractors as well and was assassinated in 1948. He is widely considered the Father of the Nation in India.

 12 Morarji Desai

Morarji Desai.
4
Famous As: Politician, Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: February 29, 1896
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bhadeli, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died: April 10, 1995
Bharat Ratna-recipient Morarji Desai was a freedom fighter and served as the prime minister of India from 1977 to 1979. He had also been the minister of home affairs and the minister of finance. He was initially part of the Indian National Congress and later joined the Janata Party

 13 Bal Thackeray

Bal Thackeray
4
Famous As: Politician, Journalist, Painter
Birthdate: January 23, 1926
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mumbai
Died: November 17, 2012

Legendary Indian politician Bal Thackeray, or Balasaheb Thackeray, was the patriarch of one of the most influential political families of India and the founder of the Shiv Sena. He went from being a cartoonist to the godfather of Maharashtra, though his overtly regional and Hindu nationalist ideals were often criticized.

 14 Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
4
Famous As: Indian scholar
Birthdate: November 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Died: February 22, 1958

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an Indian independence activist, Islamic theologian, and scholar. He played a key role in the Indian independence movement, serving as a senior leader of the Congress. His contribution to the Indian education system is recognized across India by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day

 15 K. Kamaraj

K. Kamaraj.
4
Famous As: Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India
Birthdate: July 15, 1903
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: October 2, 1975

 16 Sharad Pawar

Sharad Pawar
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pune

 17 L. K. Advani

L. K. Advani.
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Karachi

L. K. Advani is a retired Indian politician who served as the Deputy Prime Minister of India from 2002 to 2004. A co-founder of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he has also been the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha on two occasions. He is a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honor.

 18 C. Rajagopalachari

C. Rajagopalachari.
4
Famous As: Politician, Independence Activist, Lawyer, Writer & Statesman
Birthdate: December 10, 1878
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Madras Presidency (British India)
Died: December 25, 1972

Bharat Ratna-winner C. Rajagopalachari, nicknamed Rajaji or C.R., was the last Governor-General of India and the first Indian to hold the post. He had also served as an INC leader, the Governor of West Bengal, and the Premier of the Madras Presidency. He launched the Swatantra Party and propagated peace.

 19 Mayawati

Mayawati
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 15, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Delhi, India

 20 Lala Lajpat Rai

Lala Lajpat Rai.
4
Famous As: Freedom Fighter
Birthdate: January 28, 1865
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dhudike, India
Died: November 17, 1928

Lala Lajpat Rai was an Indian politician who played a major role in the Indian Independence movement. He is credited with inspiring many young men, including Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad, to join the freedom struggle through journalistic writings and activism. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari

 21 Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi.
11
Famous As: Former President of Indian National Congress
Birthdate: December 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lusiana, Lusiana Conco, Italy

Sonia Gandhi is an Indian politician and president of one of the most prominent Indian political parties, The Indian National Congress. As the president of Indian National Congress, which has been one of India's most successful political parties in the country's post-independence history, Sonia Gandhi remains one of the most powerful women in India.

 22 Jayaprakash Narayan

Jayaprakash Narayan.
4
Famous As: Political Leaders
Birthdate: October 11, 1902
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saran district
Died: October 8, 1979

Jayaprakash Narayan was a theorist, political leader, socialist, and Indian independence activist. Often referred to as the Hero of Quit India Movement, Jayaprakash Narayan was honored with the prestigious Magsaysay Award in 1965 for Public Service. He was posthumously honored with India's highest civilian award—The Bharat Ratna—in 1999.

 23 Mulayam Singh Yadav

Mulayam Singh Yadav
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saifai

 24 Lal Bahadur Shastri

Lal Bahadur Shastri.
11
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: October 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mughalsarai, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India (now in Uttar Pradesh, India)
Died: January 11, 1966

The second prime minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was known for his environmental campaigns and his support for the White Revolution. His slogan "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,” during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War, became immensely popular. He ended the war by signing the Tashkent Agreement, but died a day later.

 25 N. T. Rama Rao

N. T. Rama Rao
11
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 28, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nimmakuru, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died: January 18, 1996

 26 P. V. Narasimha Rao

P. V. Narasimha Rao.
9
Famous As: Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: June 28, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Karimnagar
Died: December 23, 2004

The ninth Prime Minister of India, P. V. Narasimha Rao, is often called the Father of Indian Economic Reforms due to a major economic transformation in India during his prime ministership. He dismantled the Licence Raj and his economic policies rescued India from an impending economic collapse. 

 27 Chiranjeevi

Chiranjeevi
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 22, 1955
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mogalthur, Andhra State, India

Chiranjeevi is an Indian actor best known for his work in the Telugu film industry. In an illustrious career spanning more than four decades, Chiranjeevi has received many prestigious awards for his contribution to Indian cinema. In 2006, he was honored with India's third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan. He is often considered one of the biggest stars in India.

 28 H. D. Deve Gowda

H. D. Deve Gowda
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Haradanahalli, Karnataka, India

Former prime minister of India, H. D. Deve Gowda is currently a Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka. Born to a backward-class family in Hassan, Deve Gowda had initially studied civil engineering. He had previously been an INC member but later quit the party to become a Janata Dal leader.

 29 Mohammad Azharuddin

Mohammad Azharuddin
6
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 8, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Mohammad Azharuddin, also known as Azhar, was the captain of the Indian cricket team for much of the 1990s. He made headlines for his affair with actor-model Sangeeta Bijlani, which later culminated in marriage. He was later banned from cricket for match-fixing. He also became an Indian National Congress MP.

 30 Dadabhai Naoroji

Dadabhai Naoroji.
4
Birthdate: September 4, 1825
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bombay, British India
Died: June 30, 1917

 31 Syama Prasad Mookerjee

Syama Prasad Mookerjee.
4
Famous As: Indian Politician
Birthdate: July 6, 1901
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Calcutta, India
Died: June 23, 1953

 32 C. N. Annadurai

C. N. Annadurai.
4
Famous As: First Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Birthdate: September 15, 1909
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kanchipuram
Died: February 3, 1969

 33 Ram Nath Kovind

Ram Nath Kovind.
6
Famous As: 14th President of India
Birthdate: October 1, 1945
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Derapur, Kanpur Dehat District, Uttar Pradesh, India
Ram Nath Kovind, the 14th President of India, was the first RSS leader to become a president. He has earlier been the Governor of Bihar and a Rajya Sabha MP. He also had a 16-year career as a lawyer and worked at the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.

 34 Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal.
4
Famous As: Anti Corruption Activist, Politician
Birthdate: August 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Siwani, Haryana
Indian politician Arvind Kejriwal is the incumbent chief minister of Delhi and the founder of the Aam Aadmi Party. The Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning leader is an IIT-KGP alumnus and was initially a joint commissioner of income tax with the IRS. His book Swaraj highlights burning issues such as corruption.

 35 Charan Singh

Charan Singh
4
Famous As: Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: December 23, 1902
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Noorpur, Uttar Pradesh India
Died: May 29, 1987

Charan Singh was an Indian politician who served as the prime minister of India for a short period of 24 weeks between July 1979  and January 1980. Referred to as the champion of India's peasants, Charan Singh is best remembered for working towards the welfare of farmers. Lucknow's international airport, which was earlier named The Amausi Airport, is now named after him.

 36 Chandra Shekhar

Chandra Shekhar
4
Famous As: politician
Birthdate: April 17, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ibrahimpatti
Died: July 8, 2007

 37 Feroze Gandhi

Feroze Gandhi.
6
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: September 12, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mumbai
Died: September 8, 1960
Indian politician and journalist Feroze Gandhi was a major figure in the Indian independence Movement. Feroze also became an MP from the constituency of Rae Bareli. He married Indira Nehru, daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India. Indira later became the Indian PM, as Indira Gandhi. 

 38 Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee.
15
Famous As: 13th President of India
Birthdate: December 11, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mirati, West Bengal, India
Died: August 31, 2020

An Indian politician who served as the 13th President of India, Pranab Mukherjee was a veteran with a political career spanning over five decades. He occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India, such as Defence, Finance and External Affairs. He was honored with Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 2019.

 39 Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
4
Famous As: Pioneer of Indian Independence Movement
Birthdate: May 9, 1866
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kothluk, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra
Died: February 19, 1915

 40 Subramanian Swamy

Subramanian Swamy
4
Famous As: Economist, Politician, Author
Birthdate: September 15, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mylapore

Indian politician Subramanian Swamy, who is a BJP MP, has also been the president of the Janata Party earlier. Known for his far-right views, he was previously a professor economics at IIT, Delhi. He boasts of a PhD from Harvard and has penned several books, such as Terrorism in India.

 41 Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
5
Famous As: Independence Activist, Reformer
Birthdate: May 28, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bhagur
Died: February 26, 1966

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an Indian politician and independence activist. He formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. He was known for his strong oratory skills and was an eloquent writer. He was initially charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but was later acquitted.

 42 Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman
7
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: August 18, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Madurai, Madras State, India (present-day Tamil Nadu)
One of the world’s 100 most powerful women in 2020 according to Forbes, BJP member Nirmala Sitharaman is the first woman to be a full-time finance minister of India. The Madurai-born JNU alumna had earlier quit her PhD program in economics midway to move to London with her husband.

 43 Madan Mohan Malaviya

Madan Mohan Malaviya.
4
Famous As: Politician & Educationist
Birthdate: December 25, 1861
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Allahabad, India
Died: November 12, 1946

 44 Gulzarilal Nanda

Gulzarilal Nanda.
4
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of India
Birthdate: July 4, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sialkot, Punjab, British India (now in Punjab, Pakistan)
Died: January 15, 1998

Gulzarilal Nanda was the acting prime minister of India after the deaths of sitting prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964 and Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966. The Bharat Ratna winner had previously been jailed twice for his participation in Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement. He had also been an economics professor.

 45 Farooq Abdullah

Farooq Abdullah
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: October 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Soura, Srinagar Soura, Kashmir and Jammu (princely state) Jammu and Kashmir, British India

 46 Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley
6
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer, Spokesperson, Strategist
Birthdate: December 28, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Delhi

BJP member Arun Jaitley had led ministries such as finance, defense, and law and justice. The Indian politician was a skilled lawyer and had been part of cases such as the 2002 Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola case in the Supreme Court. He was awarded a Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

 47 Zakir Hussain

Zakir Hussain
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: March 9, 1951
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hyderabad

Zakir Hussain is an Indian musician, tabla virtuoso, percussionist, composer, and music producer. Widely regarded as one of the greatest tabla players of all time, Hussain has received many prestigious awards in his illustrious career. In 1990, he was honored with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. In 2002, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian award.

 48 Jyoti Basu

Jyoti Basu
4
Famous As: Indian politician
Birthdate: July 8, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Died: January 17, 2010

 49 Parkash Singh Badal

Parkash Singh Badal
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Faridkot district

 50 Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 5, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Calcutta, West Bengal, India