CHIEF MINISTER

Chief Minister

 

CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS

The position of the Chief Minister at the state level is analogous to the position of prime minister at the Centre.

  • 163 – Council of Ministers to aid and advise Governor.
  • 164 – Says only that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor.
  • CM is the real executive authority (de facto executive) in parliamentary system of government. (Governor – Nominal; de jure executive)
  • CM is the head of the government. (Governor is the head of the State)
The Constitution does not contain any specific procedure for the selection and appointment of the CM. It’s by and large, governed by parliamentary

 

APPOINTMENT OF CM
  • 164 – Says only that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor.
  • However, the Governor is not free to appoint anyone as the Chief Minister.
  • Conventions of the parliamentary system – The Governor has to appoint the leader of the majority party in the state legislative assembly as the Chief Minister.

 

PERSONAL DISCRETION OF THE GOVERNOR
  • In case of no party has a clear majority in the assembly, then the Governor may exercise his personal discretion in the selection and appointment of the CM.
  • In above scenario, Governor usually appoints the leader of the largest party or coalition in the assembly as the CM and asks him to seek a vote of confidence in the assembly within a month. (g. in Maharashtra assembly elections 2019).
  • When the CM in office dies suddenly and there is no obvious successor, then governor may have to exercise his individual judgement in the selection and appointment of the CM.
  • If the ruling party elects a new leader after the death of an incumbent CM, the Governor has no choice but to appoint him as CM.
  • The Constitution does not require that a person must prove his majority in the legislative assembly before he is appointed as the CM. The Governor may first appoint him the CM and then ask him to prove his majority in the assembly within a reasonable period.
  • A person who is not a member of state legislature can be appointed as CM for six months, within which, he should be elected to the state legislature; otherwise, he ceases to be the CM.
  • Constitutionally, the CM may be a member of any of the two Houses of state legislature.
Usually Chief Ministers have been selected from the Lower House (legislative assembly), but, on a number of occasions, a member of the Upper House (legislative council) has also been appointed as Chief Minister.

 

OATH, TERM AND SALARY
  1. Governor administers to him the oaths of office and secrecy.
  2. The term of the CM is not fixed and he holds office during the pleasure of the Governor.
  3. So long as the CM enjoys the majority support in the legislative assembly, CM cannot be dismissed by the Governor.
  4. In case of loss of confidence (majority) of the legislative assembly, CM must resign or the Governor can dismiss him.
  5. The salary and allowances of the CM are determined by the state legislature from time to time. CM gets the salary and allowances that are payable to a member of state legislature.
    “Oath of Secrecy” should be replace by “Oath of Transparency” – Second ARC
    The form of oath of office and secrecy for the Chief Minister is similar to that for any state minister.

 

OATH, TERM AND SALARY
  • The term of the CM is not fixed and he holds office during the pleasure of the Governor. So long as the CM enjoys the majority support in the legislative assembly, CM cannot be dismissed by the Governor.

 

FACTORS THAT STRENGTHEN THE POSITION OF CM IN STATE
  • CM appoints, dismisses, reshuffles the ministers.
  • CM allots portfolios to ministers.
  • CM’s death or resignation leads to dissolution of CoM.
  • CM is chairperson of most of appointment and selection committees in state.
  • CM is the chairperson of cabinet, CoM, and important cabinet committees.
  • CM is chief representative and communicating authority of governor.
  • CM becomes leader of house of which he is member.
  • CM is usually charismatic personality of Party at state level.
  • CM often equated with his party at state level.

 

ROLE OF CHIEF MINISTER
  1. Role of CM w.r.t. Governor
  • CM is the principal channel of communication (Art. 167) between the governor and CoM.
  • It is the duty of the CM to communicate to the governor all decisions (Art. 167) of the CoM, to furnish such information relating to the administration as the governor may call for and if the governor so requires, to submit for the consideration of the CoM any matter on which a decision has been taken by a minister but which has not been considered by the council.
  • CM advises the governor with regard to the appointment of important officials like Advocate General, chairman and members of the state public service commission, state election commissioner, and so on.

 

  1. Role of CM w.r.t. CoM
  • CM recommends persons who can be appointed as ministers by the governor. The governor can appoint only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the CM.
  • He allocates and reshuffles various portfolios among the ministers.
  • He can ask a minister to resign or advise the governor to dismiss him in case of difference of opinion.
  • He presides over the meeting of CoM and influences its decisions.
  • He guides, directs, controls, and coordinates the activities of all the ministers.
  • He can bring about the collapse of the CoM by resigning from office.
  • The resignation or death of an incumbent CM automatically dissolves the CoM and thereby generates a vacuum.
  • The resignation or death of any other minister, on the other hand, merely creates a vacancy which the CM may or may not like to fill.
  • He is the chief spokesman of the state government.
  • He is leader of the party in power in state.
  • He is political head of the services.

 

  1. Role of CM w.r.t. State Legislature
  • The CM is the leader of the state legislative assembly.
  • He advises the governor with regard to summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the state legislature.
  • He can recommend dissolution of the legislative assembly to governor at any time.
  • He announces government policies on the floor of the House.

 

  1. Role of CM w.r.t. Cabinet
  • CM constitute cabinet and allocates portfolios.
  • He summons cabinet meeting and also decides agenda of meeting.

 

  1. Role of CM w.r.t. Planning
  • He is a member of the Inter-State Council and the Governing Council of NITI Aayog (both headed by the prime minister)
  • CM is chairman of the State Planning Board.
  • CM is vice-chairman of the concerned zonal council by rotation, holding office for a period of one year at a time.
  • He is the crisis manager-in-chief at the political level during emergencies.
  • CM is Chairpersonof State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA)

 

RELATIONSHIP OF CM WITH GOVERNOR
  • 163 – There shall be a CoM with the CM at the head to aid and advise the Governor who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice, except in so far as he is required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.
  • 164- The CM shall be appointed by the Governor and the other ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the CM.
    • The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor.
    • The CoM shall be collectively responsible to the legislative assembly of the state.
  • 167 – It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister:
    • to communicate to the Governor of the state all decisions of the CoM relating to the administration of the affairs of the state and proposals for legislation.
    • to furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the state and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for.
  • if the Governor so requires, to submit for the consideration of the council of ministers any matter on which a decision has been taken by a minister but which has not been considered by the CoM.
NOTE – Union home minister is the chairman of all the zonal councils.