Timeline: Chief Minister of Punjab
Charanjit Singh Channi(20 September 2021 - Present)
The Punjab Congress leader is the current Chief Minister of Punjab. He was elected to the post on September 20, 2021. He was previously Minister of Technical Education and Training in Amarinder Singh cabinet from 2017 to 2021 and leader of the opposition in the Punjab Legislative Assembly.
Amarinder Singh(26 February 2002 - 1 March 2007)
Captain Amarinder Singh of teh Congress served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from February 26, 2002 to March 1, 2007, and again between March 16, 2017 and September 18, 2021. He was a Congress leader but he resigned as the Chief Minister of Punjab on September 18, 2021. Amarinder Singh was inducted into the Congress by Rajiv Gandhi, who was his friend from school. In 1984, he resigned from Parliament and from Congress as a protest against the Army action during Operation Blue Star. He then joined the Shiromani Akali Dal and was elected to the state legislature from Talwandi Sabo and became a minister in the state government for Agriculture, Forest, Development and Panchayats. In 1992 he left the Akali Dal and formed a splinter group named Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthic) which later merged with the Congress in 1998 after Sonia Gandhi took over the reins of the party. He served as the President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee on three occasions from 1999 to 2002, 2010 to 2013 and 2015 to 2017.
Rajinder Kaur Bhattal(21 January 1996 - 11 February 1997)
The only female Chief Minister of Punjab, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal of Congress when she took office after the resignation of Harcharan Singh Brar. She served as the Punjab Chief Minister from January 21, 1996 to February 11, 1997. She was the eighth female Chief Minister in Indian history. As the CM, she introduced scheme to provide grants of free electricity to small farmers in order to power wells.
Harcharan Singh Brar(31 August 1995 - 21 January 1996)
The Punjab Congress leader served as the 13th Chief Minister of Punjab. He held the post from August 31, 1995 to November 21, 1996. Brar was a member of Punjab Vidhan Sabha five times: from Muktsar in 1960 to 1962, re-elected in 1962-1967 and 1992–1997, Giddarbaha in 1967–1972, Kotkapura in 1969–1974. He served as the Governor of Odisha from February 1977 to September 1977, and Governor of Haryana from September 24, 1977 to December 9, 1979.
Beant Singh(25 February 1992 - 31 August 1995)
Beant Singh was a Congress leader who entered Punjab politics and served as the Chief Minister of the state from 1992 to 1995. He was a member of Indian National Congress. In 1960 he was elected chairman of block samiti (committee) of Doraha, in Ludhiana district. After serving for some time as Director of the Central cooperative bank in Ludhiana, Beant Singh entered the Punjab Vidhan Sabha (assembly) as an independent candidate in 1969. Beant Singh was assassinated in a bomb blast at the secretariat complex in Chandigarh in 1995.
Surjit Singh Barnala(29 September 1985 - 11 June 1987)
Surjit Singh Barnala of teh Shiromani Akali Dal served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1985 to 1987. He was also involved in the Quit India Movement of 1942 after which he practiced law for some years. Barnala entered politics in 1952 and unsuccessfully contested from Dhanaula assembly constituency losing by just three votes. He was a five-time member of Punjab Assembly — 1967, 1969, 1972, 1980 and 1985 — and twice a member of the Lok Sabha in 1977 and 1998. He fought the Lok Sabha elections for the first time in 1977 and served as Union Agriculture, Irrigation, Water Resources, Forests minister in the Morarji Desai-led Janta Party government from 1977 to 1980. He had also served as the governor of Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Darbara Singh(6 June 1980 - 10 October 1983)
After the Punjab Assembly election in 1980, Darbara Singh was a Congress leader who was appointed as Chief Minister and he held the post between June 6, 1980 to October 10, 1983. In the Punjab history, 1980s were a turbulent time marked by a surge in violence and demanded for a separate Sikh homeland. He held the post of Chief Minister for three years. During his tenure, the Punjab government was grappling with the rising militancy in the state. There was a spate of assassinations, including the daylight murder of Lala Jagat Narain, followed by the assassination of DIG of Punjab Police Jalandhar range Avtar Singh Atwal outside the Golden Temple Complex. Due to a spurt in terrorist activities, the tenure of his ministry was cut short and he had to resign and President's Rule was imposed in the state under.
Zail Singh(17 March 1972 - 30 April 1977)
Zail Singh was a Congress leader who was elected as a Congress Chief Minister of Punjab in 1972. He arranged massive religious gatherings, started public functions with a traditional Sikh prayer, inaugurated a highway named after Guru Gobind Singh, and named a township after the Guru's son. He created a lifelong pension scheme for the freedom fighters of the state. He repatriated the remains of Udham Singh from London, armaments and articles belonging to Guru Gobind Singh. Zail Singh was the seventh and the first Sikh president of India. He held the post of the country's President from 1982 to 1987. He had also held several ministerial posts in the Union Cabinet, including that of Home Minister. He also served as the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1983 to 1986. His presidency was marked by Operation Blue Star, the assassination of Indira Gandhi, and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
prakash singh badal(27 March 1970 - 14 June 1971) (20 June 1977 - 17 February 1980) (12 February 1997 - 26 February 2002) (1 March 2007 - 16 March 2017)
Entering in politics in 1947, Shiromani Akali Dal leader Prakash Singh Badal served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1970 to 1971, from 1977 to 1980, from 1997 to 2002, and from 2007 to 2017. He is also the patron of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a Sikh-centered regional political party. He was a union minister in Prime Minister Morarji Desai's government in 1977, serving as Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation. Parkash Singh Badal was the president of SAD from 1995 to 2008 after which he was replaced by his son Sukhbir Singh Badal. The Government of India awarded him the second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, in 2015.
Lachhman Singh Gill(25 November 1967 - 23 August 1968)
Lachhman Singh Gill, a Shiromani Akali Dal leader, served as the 12th Chief Minister of Punjab. He held the post between November 25, 1967 and August 23, 1968. He was a member of Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD), a Sikh-centered regional political party in Punjab. He started his political career during the Punjabi Suba movement in the 1950s. He became a member of the executive committee of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee(SGPC) in 1960 and became general secretary of the SGPC in 1961.
Gurnam Singh(8 March 1967 - 25 November 1967)
A Shiromani Akali Dal leader, he was the first non-Congress Chief Minister of Punjab in 1967. He held the post from March 8, 1967 to November 25, 1967. He again became the CM from February 17, 1969 to March 27, 1970. His ministry fell due to defection of Lachhman Singh Gill, who became the next Chief Minister with the support of the Indian National Congress.
Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir(1 November 1966 - 8 March 1967)
politician and Punjabi language writer, Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir was a Congress leader who served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from November 1, 1966 to March 8, 1967. Musafir joined the freedom movement in the early 1920s and courted arrest several times till 1947. He became the head of Akal Takht, central seat of religious authority for the Sikhs. It is said that it was Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir in the Parliament that the Bill favouring Hindi as the national language was passed in the House.
Partap Singh Kairon(7 July 1964 - 5 July 1966)
Partap Singh Kairon was a Congress leader who was the Chief Minister of Punjab between January 23, 1956 and June 21,1964. Kairon is widely acknowledged as a force of change for Punjab as he transformed the state with his leadership, bringing administrative reforms, institutions, industries, and best agricultural practices. Notably, his political influence and views are still considered to dominate politics in Punjab.
Bhim Sen Sachar(13 April 1949 - 18 October 1949) (17 April 1952 - 23 January 1956)
Bhim Sen Sachar was a Congress leader who served as the chief minister for the state of Punjab, twice - from April 13, 1949 to October 18, 1949 and between April 17, 1952 and January 23, 1956. With a strong interest in politics from a very young age, Sachar entered into politics by joining the Indian National Congress. In no time, he became a prominent entity in the Congress party. He was not just the chief minister of Punjab for two times, but also went on to serve as the governor of Odisha and later Andhra Pradesh. Around the time of India's Independence, Sachar accepted citizenship of Pakistan and became a member of the First Pakistan Constituent Assembly, however, he later relinquished the Pakistan citizenship and returned to India.
Gopi Chand Bhargava(15 August 1947 - 13 April 1949) (18 October 1949 - 20 June 1951) (21 June 1964 - 6 July 1964)
Gopi Chand Bhargava was a Congress leader who was the first Chief Minister of undivided Punjab from August 15, 1947 to April 13, 1949, and again between October 18, 1949 and June 20, 1951, and for the third time as caretaker Chief Minister between June 21, 1964 and July 6, 1964. He was a member of the Congress. He also had participated in India’s freedom struggle.