In 1947, Nehru became the newly independent nations first prime minister, and Gandhi agreed to go to New Delhi to serve as his hostess, welcoming diplomats and world leaders at home and traveling with her father throughout India and abroad. She was elected to the prominent 21 member working committee of the Congress Party in 1955 and, four years later, was named its president. Upon Nehrus death in 1964, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the new prime minister, and Indira took on the role of Minister of Information and Broadcasting. But Shastris leadership was short lived, just two years later he abruptly died and Indira was appointed by Congress Party leaders to be prime minister.
Within a few years Gandhi gained enormous popularity for introducing successful programs that transformed India into a country self sufficient in food grainsan achievement known as the Green Revolution.In 1971, she threw her support behind the Bengali movement to separate East from West Pakistan, providing refuge for the ten million Pakistani civilians who fled to India in order to escape the marauding Pakistan army and eventually offering troops and arms. Indias decisive victory over Pakistan in December led to the creation of Bangladesh, for which Gandhi was posthumously awarded Bangladeshs highest state honor 40 years later.