Since 1947, Punjab has had fifteen chief ministers. The first was Gopi Chand Bhargava of the Indian National Congress party, who was sworn-in on 15 August 1947, when India gained independence from the British. He was succeeded by fellow Congressman Bhim Sen Sachar, who was then subsequently replaced after 188 days by former Chief Minister Gopi Chand Bhargava. After a brief term, President Rajendra Prasad placed the Punjab Legislative Assembly under suspension for ninth months to help the state government gets its act together. In 1952, the first state elections took place for the Legislative Assembly. The results of the election saw the return of the Congress government with former Chief Minister Bhim Sen Sachar as its leader. After he resigned in 1956, Partap Singh Kairon became chief minister. Serving until 1964, Khairon remain’s one of Punjab’s longest-serving chief ministers. He was followed by the returning Chief Minister Gopi Chand Bhargava, who briefly held office as acting chief minister for only 15 days. In July 1964, Ram Kishan assumed the office and served for two years. His tenure was followed by the President’s rule which lasted for 119 days. During this time, the state of Haryana was separated from Punjab.
The first chief minister of the newly re-configured state was Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir who led a Congress government from the Vidhan Parishad, one of only two to have done so. After 272 days under President’s rule, the Congress party returned to power under future President Zail Singh. A brief interlude under Surjit Singh Barnala followed, after which three Congress-led governments took office—led by Beant Singh from 1992 to 1995, Harcharan Singh Brar from 1995 to 1996 and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal from 1996 to 1997. Upon taking office, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal became the first female chief minister of Punjab and overall the 8th female chief minister in India.
In 2002 Congressman Captain Amarinder Singh, who also successfully served a full five year term.