Some Longest Ruling PMs –A Case of Nepal, Britain and India

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The post of the prime minister as the highest executive position in most of countries especially in the parliamentary Westminster model system is a coveted one loaded with enormous tasks. Lucrative as it is,  the road  to catching up on such a glamourous job by sidelining others in the fray is not an easy task either with the primary task of safeguarding national interest, maintenance of law and order, uplifting the country’s development, and promoting national image abroad.  This post is both evolved and been created. In Nepal and Britain, the post went on evolving over time while in India it got created after independence from the Britain Empire. The length of a PM’s tenure is associated with effectiveness in leadership.  Better leadership longer the tenure of the PM. This article endeavors to highlight the length of some of the more talked about PMs’ of Nepal, Britain, and India in brief


In Britain and Nepal, the premiership was rooted in monarchy while in India the post was directly envisaged in the republican parliamentary constitution.



The PM would be appointed in Nepal by the king from amongst the courtiers in recognition of his already made contributions and future potentiality to spearhead the governance. Bhimsen Thapa, Nepal’s first PM,  ruled from 1806 to 1837. This post evolved from the title of the  Mukhtiyar literary meaning the chief authority,  into the prime minister later. He earned a reputation as a good ruler, a reformer in agriculture, forestry, trade and commerce, judiciary, military, transport and communication,  protector of slaves’s rights and freedom, diplomatic acumen, however, ended in tragic suicidal death after 31 years as a result of the conspiracy of the courtiers.       


Junga Bahadur Rana captured the premiership in a massacre and ruled the country from 1846 to  1877 during king Surendra  Shah’s reign making the post of PM as a  hereditary one that continued throughout the Rana rule.     


Of the 9 Rana premiers under the reign of the Shah kings spanning over 104 years the four Rana PMs Junga Bahadur, Bir Sumsher who succeeded   Ranodip Singh after his assassination, Chandra Sumsher and  Juddha  Sumsher ruled the country for nearly 90 years,  the remaining about 14 years was shared by rest of the five Ranas of which Deva Sumsher, the founder of the first state-owned newspaper The Gorkha Patra,  had the shorted tenure of  114 days before being ousted due to the family’s conspiracy to succeed him.  


Jang successfully maneuvered domestic and external affairs, helped Britain to suppress the 1857 Spy Mutiny in India with the Nepalese contingent, and paid a state visit to England. Chandra Sumsher shrewdly brought many social and economic reforms, maintained amicable relations with and paid a state visit to Britain,  and assisted them with the Gorkha Army in the First World War of 1914-1918.  Juddha publicly had appealed to all walk of life to extend him advice as to how the economic and social development of Nepal could be geared up to benefit the people,  initiated industrialization, introduced bank and financial reform system, enhanced relations with Britain helping them in the Second World War (1939-1944) with the  Gorkha Army, is well hailed for his post-earthquake recovery programs of 1934. He gave up post of his own will paving the way for Padam Shumsher as the PM. He. however, is blamed for approving the death penalty to the four protestors namely Gangalal Shrestha, Dasharath Chand, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, and Shukraraj Shastri for their revolts against the Rana rule. later they gained martyrdom.


The last Rana PM as he was, also Mahan the first  PM  of the post-Rana rule also after the end of the 104 years of autocratic rule following a revolt against the regime in 1951,  tailed by Matrika Prasad Koirala as PM  for 930 days. Dr. K.I Singh had only 110 days of tenure as PM. The elected PM B.P. Koirala had 18 months tenure before the takeover of power by King Mahendra in December  1960, then introduced the Panchayat polity under which the PM would be appointed by the king as per the recommendation of the legislature called The Rashtriya Panchayat.

Each polity has had six PMs i.e. Matrika Koirala, B.P. Koirala, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Girija Prasad Koirala, Sushil Koirala and the incumbent PM Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepali Congress.  Girija Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba have had the longest tenure and frequency as PMs.  The suite of six PMs applied to the left parties also with  Manmohan Adhikary, Madhab Kumar Nepal, Jananath Khanal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, and  K. P. Oli.  Adhikary had a 9-month tenure. During the Panchayat polity, Dr. Tulsi Giri, Surya Bahadur Thapa, Kirtinidhi Bista, Nagendra Prasad Risal, Lokendra Bahadur Chand, and Marich Man Singh also figured the same number six.



Britain’s premiership stretches from Sir Robert Walpole onwards to incumbent Rishi Saunak.  Walpole is considered to be the first PM in effect though never coined as the prime minister.  The PM’s post went on evolving with the passage of time till the 18th century. Prior to king George first, a German, unable to speak English, the sovereign would chair the cabinet meetings.  Owing to the lack of an English king George delegated his authority to a senior most minister to chair cabinet meetings on his behalf called the first minister, chief minister, or premier. As Britain was required to send a prime minister to sign the Berlin Treaty in 1878 Benjamin Disraeli for the first time was titled as prime minister by an act that got legally established under the Ministers of the Crown Act in 1937. The British PM is the hallmark of the effectiveness of PM in other countries that has a parliamentary system. Walpole had the longest tenure of 21 years (1721 – 1742) with George Canning just 119 days.


William Ewart Gladstone was the UK PM for four times totaling 12 years 126 days, three persons three times, two times 13 persons, and one time 38 persons as PM.

The sudden resignation of Tiz Truss from the premiership on the moral grounds after just 7 weeks in office  paved the way to the incumbent   Rishi Sanuk  to be  the 57th   British prime minister in person        



Nehru and  Shastry died while PM for 16 years and  18 months respectively. Mrs Gandhi with the longest tenure after Nehru, and Rajib Gandhi were assassinated as PM, Manmohan Singh served two consecutive terms, and Atal Bihari Vaipayee remained PM  during 1998-2004.  Chaudhary Singh was PM only for 170 days. The incumbent PM Narendra Modi is serving the second tenure.


Coincidently the first PM of Nepal, Britain, and India namely Bhimsen Thapa, Sir Robert Walpole and Nehru had the longest tenure of 31, 21, and 16 years respectively thanks to their time-suitable leadership. Neither the duration nor the frequency in the same office hardly matters to leave a long-lasting name than the effectiveness, leadership quality  Popularity within and abroad.






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ग्लोबल नेपालीपत्रमा प्रकाशित कुनै समाचारमा तपाईंको गुनासो भए हामीलाई मा इमेल गर्न सक्नुहुनेछ । साथै तपाई आफ्नो बिजनेश प्रवद्र्धन गर्न चाहनुहुन्छ भने सम्पर्क गर्न सक्नुहुनेछ । हामीसँग तपाईंफेसबुकट्विटरमा पनि जोडिन सक्नुहुन्छ ।

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