May 31, 2020
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Bizzare But True

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Bizzare But True

Charan Singh with an unspecified number of MPs agreed to take outside support from the Congress, which had 154 seats, and the Congress (U) . The only Indian prime minister to have ruled for six months without ever facing Parliament. Resigned on August 20, 1979.

V.P. Singh, who rode to power on the Bofors issue in the 1989 elections, formed a Janata Dal government. Ironically, his then arch-rival Congress was the single largest party with 197 seats and 40 per cent of the total votes cast in its favour but Rajiv Gandhi declined on grounds that the mandate was not for the party. The National Front, with 148 MPs, had the support of both the Right and the Left—88 BJP MPs and 44 members of the Left Front.

Chandra Shekhar with his splinter Janata Dal (S) group of 54 MPs along with regional parties formed the government with outside support from the Congress (197), after the fall of the V.P. Singh government. He, however, lasted no more than seven months.

Atal Behari Vajpayee’s government of May 16, 1996, became the shortest-lived government ever when it resigned on the floor of the House, unable to get a majority. It lasted for exactly 13 days.

H.D. Deve Gowda assumed charge as prime minister heading a 14-party United Front of 171 members with just 43 of his own Janata Dal MPs. Congress propped up his ministry with 140 members from the outside.


When Vajpayee’s government was voted out on the floor of the House by one vote in April 1999, it became the smallest margin ever of a government being defeated. It was also the third time that a prime minister had been voted out in Parliament—the first two being V.P. Singh in November 1990 and Deve Gowda in April 1997.

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