Modi Oath Ceremony: A look At India's Longest-Serving Prime Ministers

As Modi begins third term, let’s look at the longest serving prime ministers of India.

Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi | Photo: PTI

Narendra Modi took oath as the Prime Minister of India for a historic third consecutive term on Sunday, June 9. President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath to the NDA Parliamentary Party leader at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, in the presence of dignitaries from across the region. Follow LIVE Oath Ceremony Updates Here

BJP emerged as the single-largest party following India's general elections. While BJP on its own did not have enough seats to touch the majority mark this election, the NDA alliance is set to form the government with 293 seats.

As Modi begins third term, let’s look at the longest serving prime ministers of India.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru (Congress)

Tenure: 1947-1964

Duration: 16 years, 286 days

Jawaharlal Nehru, a prominent lawyer, served as India's prime minister for 16 years and 286 days until his death in 1964. He won three consecutive terms with a significant majority but faced challenges from within and outside his party. Nehru played a crucial role in India's freedom struggle and established the country's foreign policy of non-alignment during the Cold War.

  • Indira Gandhi (Congress)

Tenure: 1966-1977, 1980-1984

Duration: 15 years, 350 days

Indira Gandhi, India's first and only female prime minister, served for 15 years and 350 days. Her anti-poverty measures, Green revolution, and the war with Pakistan, which helped liberate Bangladesh made her immensely popular. Her tenure was also marked by emergency and her eventual assassination in 1984.

  • Narendra Modi (BJP)

Tenure: 2014-Present

Duration: 10 years, 19 days

Narendra Modi, the current prime minister, has been in office since 2014. He led the BJP to record wins in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections and has launched various schemes and campaigns, including Swatchh Bharat and Make in India. Modi's tenure has focused on promoting India's rich history and culture.

  • Manmohan Singh (Congress)

Tenure: 2004-2014

Duration: 10 years, 4 days

Manmohan Singh, an Indian economist, served as prime minister from 2004 to 2014. He negotiated a nuclear cooperation pact with the US, introduced important legislation like the Right to Education Act,  and worked to improve technology and infrastructure in India.

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee (BJP)

Tenure: 1996, 1998-2004

Duration: 6 years, 80 days

Atal Bihari Vajpayee (BJP) was the first non-Congress Indian prime minister to serve a full five-year term in office. He served three terms as prime minister from 1996 to 2004, for a total of six years and 80 days. Vajpayee is remembered for his initiatives towards nuclear testing and fostering peace with Pakistan. He also initiated major infrastructure projects like the Golden Quadrilateral highway network.