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Home Articles List of All Prime Ministers of India; Eligibility, Selection Process and Responsibilities

List of All Prime Ministers of India; Eligibility, Selection Process and Responsibilities

Prime Minister of India is the head of the ruling central government. In 72 years of independence, India has got its 19 Prime Minister. The list of all the Prime Ministers of India has been provided here:

Prime Minister of India is the head of the ruling central government. All the effective executive power rests with the Council of Ministers that is headed by the prime minister. Prime Minister is chosen by the majority party or coalition in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) and is formally appointed by the president.

Prime Minister of India determines the dates of its meetings and programs for the Parliament session. He also decides when the house has to be prorogued or dissolved. As a chief spokesman, he makes the announcement of principal government policies and answers questions on then. The list of all the Prime Ministers of India has been given below:

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Gulzarilal Nanda took office in 1966 following the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri for 13 days as the acting prime minister of India. His earlier 13-day stint as the second prime minister of India followed the death of prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964.

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The third Prime Minister of India, Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, also the first and so far the only woman prime minister of India, served the second-longest term as a prime minister. Indira Gandhi also served as the minister of external affairs (1984), minister of defence (1980 – 82), minister of home affairs (1970 – 73) and minister of information and broadcasting (1964 – 66). She imposed the 1975 state emergency to suspend elections. The 1971 war with Pakistan for the liberation of East Pakistan was held during her term in office. Following Operation Blue Star, she was assassinated in 1986 by her own bodyguard.

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C Charan Singh was the fifth prime minister of India. Born in a peasant family in Uttar Pradesh, Charan Singh was the champion of peasants rights. Just before he was to prove his majority in Lok Sabha, Indira Gandhi withdrew support to Charan Singh’s government, and after just 23 days in power, he resigned. Owing to the leader’s contribution to India’s agrarian concerns, Singh’s memorial in New Delhi is named Kisan Ghat.

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The sixth prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi served from 1984 to 1989. He took office on the day of the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 after the Sikh riots and at age 40 was the youngest PM of India. He served as a pilot for the Indian Airlines. From 1985-91, he was the president of the Congress party.

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VP Singh was the seventh prime minister of India. VP Singh was the 12th chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. From 1984 to 1987, he was the minister of finance and from 1989-90, the minister of defence under PM Rajiv Gandhi when the Bofors scandal surfaced. The Mandal Commission Report for reservation in government posts/ educational institutions was implemented in his tenure.

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Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao, the 10th prime minister, was the first PM to come from southern India. Narasimha Rao served as the defence minister from 1993-96 and the minister of external affairs from 1992 to 1994. He was also the home minister under Rajiv Gandhi in 1986. Narasimha Rao was also the 4th chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. The 1991 economic reforms were brought under his tenure as the PM.

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The 12th prime minister of India, I K Gujral was a participant of the Quit India Movement under Gandhi Ji leader ship. As the minister of external affairs, he is remembered for the Gujral Doctrine – a set of five principles to guide the foreign policy of India with its immediate neighbours, particularly Pakistan. He was both a Rajya Sabha member and a Lok Sabha member.

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Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the position of the Prime Minister of India, a person should:

  • Be a citizen of India.
  • Be a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.
  • Complete 25 years of age if he is a member of the Lok Sabha or 30 years if he is a member of the Rajya Sabha.

A person cannot be the Prime Minister of India if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India, the government of any state, or any local or other authority subject to the control of any of the said governments.

Selection Process

The Constitution states that the President of India should appoint the leader of the party or alliance which is in majority in the Lok Sabha as the Prime Minister of India. In case no party or alliance enjoys majority, the President appoints the leader of the largest party or alliance as the Prime Minister. He has to win the confidence vote in the Lower House of the Parliament as early as possible. A member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha can be appointed as the Prime Minister. If he is not a member of either House of the Parliament then he has to be elected to either House within six months of his appointment. As the Prime Minister, he is the Leader of the House of which he is a member.

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of the Prime Minister are as follows:

  • Link between President and Council of Ministers
  • Allocation of Portfolios
  • In-Charge of Ministries
  • Leader of the Cabinet
  • Link between the Parliament and the Cabinet
  • Official Representative


According to Article 75 of the Constitution of India, the salary of the Prime Minister is decided by the Parliament and revised from time to time. As on 31 July 2012 the monthly pay and allowances of the Prime Minister of India was Rs. 1,60,000.

Former Prime Ministers of India are provided with:

  • Rent-free accommodation for lifetime.
  • Medical facilities, 14 secretarial staff, office expenses against actual expenditure, six domestic executive-class flight tickets, and unlimited
  • free train travels for first five years.
  • SPG cover for one year.

After five years: One personal assistant and peon, free air and train tickets and Rs. 6,000 for office expenses.

Term and Retirement age

Prime Minister does not have a fixed tenure. The full term of the Prime Minister is five years, which coincides with the normal life of the Lok Sabha. However, the term can end sooner if he loses the vote of confidence in the Lower House. The Prime Minister can also resign by writing to the President. There are no term limits on the office of the Prime Minister. There is also no official retirement age.


Q. What is the minimum age limit for someone to be the president of India?

Ans. Candidate must 25 years of age if he/she is a member of the Lok Sabha or 30 years if he/she is a member of the Rajya Sabha.

Q. Who appoints the Prime Minister?

Ans. The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Q. What is the retirement age of Prime Minister?

Ans. There are no term limits on the office of the Prime Minister. There is also no official retirement age.

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