Famous Indian Prime Ministers

Ever since its independence from the British Raj in 1947, India has been a federal constitutional republic governed under a parliamentary system laid down by the Constitution of India. According to the Constitution, the Prime Minister is the chief executive head of the country vested with powers for the smooth functioning and working of the country. Though the country also has a presidential post, the role of the President is largely ceremonial and his de facto powers are usually exuded by the Prime Minister. Till date, India has had fifteen appointed Prime Ministers. The first and longest serving prime minister of India, when Jawaharlal Nehru took up the office, India was reeling from the effects of partition. Despite strenuous situation, Nehru propelled India towards advancement, bringing forth radical changes in the country’s domestic, international, social and economic policies. His term of 16 years was succeeded by Lal Bahadur Shastri. Indira Gandhi became the first woman premier. Her son, Rajiv Gandhi, too, took up premiership, thus becoming the youngest PM of India. Current PM, Narendra Modi rise to the office has been historic in Indian governance. A charismatic yet controversial leader, Modi’s no-nonsense spirit and can-do leadership skills have earned him reputation around the globe. His ambitious projects have truly made him the hope of aspirational India! Check this section to get details about the life and works of Indian Prime Ministers.

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 
Indira Gandhi
(3rd Prime Minister of India)

Indira Gandhi
17
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.

 2 
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
(Former Prime Minister of India)

Atal Bihari Vajpayee
9
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 
Jawaharlal Nehru
(First PM of India & Freedom Fighter)

Jawaharlal Nehru
13
Birthdate: November 14, 1889
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Allahabad
Died: May 27, 1964

Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the central figures of the Indian independence movement along with personalities like Mahatma Gandhi. He became the first prime minister of India and left behind such a legacy that his direct descendants continue to play an important role in Indian politics.

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 4 
Narendra Modi
(Prime Minister of India (Since 2014))

Narendra Modi
37
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.

 5 
Manmohan Singh
(Former Prime Minister of India)

Manmohan Singh
9
Birthdate: September 26, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gah, Punjab, British India (present-day Punjab, Pakistan)

The 13th Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh became the first Sikh in office when he took office in 2004. A prominent economist and academic, he held several key posts in the Government of India in the 1970s and 1980s. Known for his humility, he  has been described by the media as "one of the world's most revered leaders."

 6 
Lal Bahadur Shastri
(Prime Minister of India (1964-66))

Lal Bahadur Shastri
5
Birthdate: October 2, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mughalsarai, 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.

 7 
Rajiv Gandhi
(Former Prime Minister of India)

Rajiv Gandhi
10
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. 

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 8 
P. V. Narasimha Rao
(Prime Minister of India (1991-96))

P. V. Narasimha Rao
5
Birthdate: June 28, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Karimnagar, India
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. 

 9 
Morarji Desai
(Politician, Prime Minister of India)

Morarji Desai
6
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

 10 
H. D. Deve Gowda
(Politician)

H. D. Deve Gowda
4
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.

 11 
Charan Singh
(Prime Minister of India)

Charan Singh
4
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.

 12 
Gulzarilal Nanda
(Former Prime Minister of India)

Gulzarilal Nanda
3
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.

 13 
V. P. Singh
(Prime Minister of India (1989-90))

V. P. Singh
3
Birthdate: June 25, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Prayagraj, India
Died: November 27, 2008

V. P. Singh served as the Indian prime minister briefly between 1989 and 1990. The Raja Bahadur of Manda, he was the only Indian prime minister who was also a former king. Initially a Congress member, he later established the Janata Dal. He was married to the Raja of Deogarh’s daughter.

 14 
Yashwantrao Balwantrao Chavan
(Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra)

Yashwantrao Balwantrao Chavan
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1913
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sangli, India
Died: November 25, 1984

Apart from heading several ministries, Congress leader Yashwantrao Balwantrao Chavan had also served as the chief minister of Bombay State and the chief minister of Maharashtra. He was an active participant in the Quit India movement and had even been jailed. He was a patron of education and culture.

 15 
I. K. Gujral
(Prime Minister of India (1997-98))

I. K. Gujral
3
Birthdate: December 4, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jhelum, Pakistan
Died: November 30, 2012

I. K. Gujral had served as the prime minister of India for less than a year in the late 1990s but has been widely discussed for his Gujral doctrine, which focused on maintaining peace with the neighboring countries. A lover of Urdu poetry, he was married to poet Sheila Gujral.

 16 
Malik Ambar
(The De facto Ruler of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate in the Deccan Region of India)

Malik Ambar
1
Birthdate: 1548 AD
Birthplace: Harar, Ethiopia
Died: May 11, 1626

Malik Ambar was a Siddi military leader who served as the prime minister of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, later serving as its de facto ruler. Brought into India as a slave, Ambar created a mercenary force and pioneered guerrilla warfare. He then went on to found the city of Khirki, which was later renamed as Aurangabad.