Twice a Foreign Minister, Mr Gujral authored a foreign policy doctrine called the "Gujral Doctrine" (a set of principles to guide the conduct of foreign relations with India's immediate neighbours), which was widely acclaimed not only in India but also outside.
Capping a long political career that saw him occupy positions in various ministries under the late Indira Gandhi, who made him Ambassador to the then superpower USSR, Mr Gujral became the surprise choice of a motley group of regional parties to be the Prime Minister of Janata Dal-led United Front government in 1997.
With tussle among several claimants including Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mr Gujral became the consensus choice after Congress under Sitaram Kesri withdrew support to H D Deve Gowda. It was
another matter that the experiment failed and in 10 months the nation was forced to go to polls.
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