A look at India's most short-lived governments

 | Updated: Apr 01, 2019, 09:03 PM IST

The shortest of them all was Atal Bihari Vajpayee's 13-day government in 1996. 

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee held the post three times in his political career. The first time it was in 1996 when the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha polls. He then was invited by former president Shankar Dayal Sharma to form the government after which he was sworn in as the 10th Prime Minister of India.

However, after he failed to garner enough support from other parties to obtain a majority, Vajpayee resigned after 13 days.


Former prime minister of India Charan Singh.

Chaudhary Charan Singh was fifth prime minister of India and served between July 28, 1979 to January 14, 1980. 

Charan Singh resigned after serving for 24 weeks in office when Indira Gandhi's Congress Party withdrew support to the government. 

(Photograph:Zee News Network)

Chandra Shekhar

Chandra Shekhar was eleventh prime minister of India. He came into the power on 1990 and gave his resignation in 1991.

Chandra Shekhar failed to introduce full budget which led to major economical crisis in India, because Congress withdrew its support during its formulation.

In 1991, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi decided to hold a new election after which he gave his resignation on March 6.

He was succeeded by PV Narasimha Rao.


HD Deve Gowda

HD Deve Gowda was elected as the 11th prime minister of the country after the 1996 general elections.

The elections had thrown a hung assembly following which the United Front (a conglomeration of non-Congress and non-BJP regional parties) came together to form the government at the centre with the support of the Congress.

Gowda was appointed as the prime minister on June 1, 1996. His government, however,  could not survive for a year and Gowda had to step down on April 11, 1997, after the Congress withdrew support from the party.


Inder Kumar Gujral

Inder Kumar Gujral served as the twelfth prime minister of India from April 1997 to March 1998.

He was elected in the office after the fall of the Deve Gowda government.

The United Front alliance, earlier led by Gowda,  formed a new government with the support of Congress under the leadership of IK Gujral.


VP Singh

The Emergency galvanized the Opposition in India leading to Congress's defeat in the 1977 elections. 

Several Opposition leaders were arrested but it failed to break their unity as the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government stumbled.


Lal bahadur Shastri

Lal Bahadur Shastri, a senior leader of Indian National Congress party, was the second prime minister of India.

Lal Bahadur Shastri led the country during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 during which his slogan of "Jai Jawan Jai Kisan" ("Hail the soldier, Hail the farmer") became very popular during the war. 

His government was short lived due to his sudden death in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan. The cause of his death is in dispute as initial reports said that he died of cardiac arrest but his supporters allege foul play.


Morarji Desai

Morarji Desai was elected as the first ever non-Congress prime minister in the country after the 1977 general elections.

The elections followed the emergency and under the leadership of Morarji Desai, the Janata Party formed the government from 1977 to 1979.

His government could not last for more than two years and Desai resigned in July 1979, after he failed to get a parliamentary majority.