Hitendra Kanaiyalal Desai (August 9, 1915 – September 12, 1993) was the Chief Minister of Gujarat and a leader of Indian National Congress.
Desai was born in Surat. As a student, he took leading part in debates, sports and other activities at School and College. In 1941-42, he was arrested during the ‘Quit India’ freedom Movement for offering individual Satyagrah and went to jail for one year. He was Education Minister in the reorganised Bombay state.
Hitendra Desai was the Minister of Law in the ministry headed by Dr. Jivraj Narayan Mehta. He was also Minister for Home and Deputy leader of the House. Later, he was the Chief Minister of the state from September 20, 1965 to May 12, 1971. His reign saw the 1969 Gujarat riots.