Inder Kumar Gujral
Former prime minister of
Former Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, 92, who gave a new impetus to improving India's relations with its neighbors during a term in office that lasted less than a year, died Friday in New Delhi after a yearlong illness, said Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Gujral had been hospitalized earlier in November with a lung infection.
Born Dec. 4, 1919, in the Punjab region of what is now
He spent many years in the Congress party and was a minister under Indira Gandhi's Cabinet. Later, he was India's ambassador to what was then the Soviet Union. An erudite and well-read leader, Gujral quit the Congress party in the mid-1980s to join the Janata Dal, or the Peoples' party.
Gujral became India's 12th prime minister when he headed a shaky coalition government in 1997.
Although his term lasted only 11 months, Gujral made a mark in India's foreign relations by promoting friendly ties with its neighbors, including archrival Pakistan.
— Los Angeles Times wire reports