Besides sharing the record with Manmohan Singh of hoisting the national flag for 10 consecutive times, Modi will also become an Indian PM to raise the tricolour for third highest time, a record which he will share with his immediate predecessor.
So far, India has seen 15 PMs. Out of these 15 PMs, 13 have hoisted the national flag at the Red Fort. Two PMs – Gulzarilal Nanda and Chandra Shekhar – did not get an opportunity to hoist the tricolour on Independence Day.
The record for hoisting the maximum number of times rests with first PM Jawaharlal Nehru. Between August 15, 1947 – when he hoisted the tricolour for the very first time – and May 27, 1964 – when he died in harness – Nehru raised the national flag for 17 consecutive times.
Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi holds the record of hoisting the national flag for second highest number of times. She hoisted it 16 times, just one short of her father. However, it was not consecutive as in the case of Nehru. She achieved the feat in two different stints separated by a gap of about four years.
Indira hoisted the national flag for 11 consecutive times during her first stint as PM from January 24, 1966 to March 24, 1977. She hoisted the flag for five consecutive times between January 14, 1980 and October 31, 1984.
Till now, Manmohan Singh, who was the PM of the Congress-led UPA government for continuous 10 years, holds the record of hoisting the tricolour for 10 times between May 22, 2004 and May 26, 2014.
However, on the 76th anniversary of Independence Day this year, incumbent PM Narendra Modi will equal Manmohan Singh’s record and will also become a PM to to do the honours for 10 consecutive times from May 26, 2014 onwards.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the PM of the BJP-led NDA government raised the tricolour for six consecutive times. Though he was sworn in twice as PM, he could not get a chance to hoist the flag in his first stint between May 16, 1996 and June 1, 1996.
Vajpayee raised the tricolour for six consecutive times in his second term as PM from March 19, 1998 to May 22, 2004.
Rajiv Gandhi, who was the PM from October 31, 1984 – the day his mother Indira Gandhi was assassinated – to December 2, 1989, hoisted the national flag for five consecutive times.
Rajiv Gandhi’s record of hoisting the flag for five consecutive times was later equalled by another Congress PM P V Narasimha Rao who held the coveted post from June 21, 1991 to May 16, 1996.
Two PMs – Lal Bahadur Shastri and Morarji Desai – hoisted the flag for two times each. Shastri raised the flag on two occasions between June 9, 1964 – when he was sworn in as the PM – and January 11, 1966 – when he died at Tashkent in the erstwhile USSR.
Morarji Desai, the first non-Congress PM of independent India and who succeeded Indira Gandhi after a spell of Emergency, hoisted the flag twice between March 24, 1977 and July 28, 1979, when his government fell.
Four PMs – Charan Singh, V P Singh, H D Deve Gowda and I K Gujral – hoisted the flag only once each.
Charan Singh was the PM from July 28, 1979 to January 14, 1980. He took over from Morarji Desai and was succeeded by Indira Gandhi.
V P Singh, who succeeded Rajiv Gandhi on December 2, 1989 was the PM till November 10, 1990, when his government also lost majority and fell.
Vajpayee had taken over as the PM from Narasimha Rao on May 16, 1996. However, he could not prove his government’s majority and his government fell. He was succeeded by H D Deve Gowda on June 1, 1996. Gowda hoisted the flag in 1996 and had to step down from his post on April 21, 1997.
Gowda was succeeded by I K Gujral on April 21, 1997 and was on the chair till March 19, 1998. He hoisted the national flag once in 1997.
Two PMs – Gulzarilal Nanda and Chandra Shekhar – did not get a chance to hoist the tricolour.
Gulzarilal Nanda twice became the PM. His first stint was from May 27, 1964 – on the death of Nehru – to June 9, 1964. He became the PM for the second time from January 11, 1966 – on the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri – till January 24, 1966.
Chandra Shekhar was PM from November 10, 1990 to June 21, 1991 and he also could not hoist the national flag even once.