Chief Minister in State Polity

Chief Minister in State Polity

In the Parliamentary system of Government provided by Constitution of India, the Governor is the nominal executive authority  while the Chief Minister is the real executive authority. In other words, Governor is the head of state while Chief Minister is the head of Government. Thus, Chief Minister’s position in state is analogous to the prime ministers position at the centre.

Appointment of Chief Minister

  • Article 164 of Constitution states that Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and in accordance with conventions of parliamentary system, the Governor appoints the leader of the largest party of the house or leader chosen by the largest coalition to become the chief minister.
  • The Governor may exercise situational discretion if no party has clear majority. He may ask a leader to become chief minister and then prove his majority on floor of the house.
  • On death of a Chief Minister, the ruling party elects a new leader and Governor has no choice but to appoint the new leader as Chief Minister.
  • A person who is not member of State Legislature can be appointed as Chief Minister for 6 months, within this, he/she should be elected to the state legislature.

Term & Salary of Chief Minister:

  • The term of Chief Minister is not fixed and he/she holds the office during the pleasure of Governor. But the Governor can’t dismiss him till he has a majority in the house.
  • The Salary and allowances of Chief Minister are determined by State Legislature.

Powers & Functions of Chief Minister:

In relation to Council of Ministers:

  • Recommends people to be appointed as ministers to the Governor.
  • Allocates and reshuffles portfolio of ministers.
  • Can ask the minister to resign or tell the governor to dismiss him.
  • Supervises activities of all ministers.
  • Presides over meetings of Council of Ministers and influences the decisions.
  • Can collapse the government by resigning from office.

In relation to Governor

  • Principal channel of communication between Governor & Council of Ministers
  • Communicates to Governor all decisions of Council of Ministers
  • Furnishes information related to any decision of Council of Ministers called by Governor
  • Furnished to Council of Minister any decision that Governor requires consideration.
  • Advises Governor for appointment of persons on important posts like Chairman & Members RPSC, election commission etc.

In relation to State Legislature

  • Advises Governor for summoning or proroguing of session of state legislature.
  • Can recommend dissolution of Legislative Assembly to the Governor at any time.
  • Announces Government policies on floor of the house.

Other Powers

  • Chairman – State planning Board
  • Chairman – Chief Minister Advisory Council