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He served as the thirteenth Prime Minister of India from April 1997 to March 1998.
Earlier, he participated in the Indian independence movement and was jailed in 1942 during the Quit India Movement. As a student he became a member of the Communist Party of India.
He was the Minister of Information and Broadcasting under Indira Gandhi's prime ministership. He was also the Indian amabassador to Soviet Union and Minister of External Affairs.
He often changed his parties. He started with the Communist Party of India, then joined Congress and Janata Dal.