PM remembers former PM Shri Morarjibhai Desai.
- Morarji Desai’s birth anniversary falls on 29 February.
- Morarji Desai was born in Bulsar, District (now known as Valsad) in Gujarat.
- After graduating from Wilson College, Bombay (now Mumbai), he served as the Deputy collector of Godhra. He resigned from the post in 1930.
- After that, he became part of the Indian freedom struggle and joined the Civil Disobedience Movement against British rule.
- Shri Desai was imprisoned thrice during the freedom struggle.
Prime Minister Morarji Desai
- The Janata Party won in the general elections held in March 1977 for the sixth Lok Sabha. Desai was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Surat constituency in Gujarat.
- He was later unanimously elected as the leader of the Janata Party in Parliament and sworn in as the Prime Minister on March 24, 1977.
- Shri Desai was India’s prime minister from March 24, 1977, till July 28, 1979.
- He was the first Indian Prime Minister who did not belong to the Indian National Congress.
- He was also the world’s oldest person to become the Prime Minister (aged 81), a record which he holds till date.
- He condemned Indira Gandhi’s rule as dictatorial.
- He tried to re-position India as a non-aligned state, countering what he saw as too close a relationship with the Soviet Union by improving links with the United States, hosting a visit from Jimmy Carter in 1978.
- Visiting the Soviet Union in June 1979, he expressed India’s opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan.
- He improved relations with China, frozen since a border dispute in 1962.
- He worked to improve relations with the neighbour and arch-rival Pakistan.
- His government undid many amendments made to the constitution during the emergency and made it difficult for any future government to impose a national emergency.