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Chief Minister - Indian Polity - Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

Introduction
As a real executive authority, the Chief Minister is called the head of the government. He is assisted by his council of ministers who are a part of state executive along with Governor and Advocate-General of State. Similar to Prime Minister who is the head of the government at the centre, the Chief Minister is the head of the government at the state level.

Who is called a Chief Minister?
He is the head of the state government. While the governor is the nominal executive of the state government, the person who becomes the chief minister is the real executive of the government. The real executive is called ‘de facto’ executive that means, ‘in fact, whether by right or not.’

How is a Chief Minister appointed?
Just like the Prime Minister, provisions of whose appointment are not mentioned in the Indian Constitution, Chief Minister’s appointment particulars are not mentioned in the Constitution. According to Article 164 in the Indian Constitution, Governor appoints Chief Minister. However, the Governor cannot appoint any random person as the Chief Minister but has to follow a provision.
A leader of the party that has got the majority share of votes in the assembly elections, is appointed as the Chief Minister of the state.

Note:

  • When no party gets a majority in the elections, governor exercises his own discretion and appoint a Chief Minister accordingly.
  • In a case where no party has won the majority votes, Governor appoints the member of the largest party or one from the coalition (if occurs) as the Chief Minister and then he is given 1 month time to prove confidence in the house.
  • If the incumbent dies in the office, Governor at his own discretion can appoint a Chief Minister however, the ruling party nominates a member and Governor usually appoints that person as the Chief Minister. This person then has to prove confidence within a specified time.
  • A person not belonging to either house (Legislative Assembly & Council) can also be appointed as the Chief Minister, however, within six months of his tenure as a CM he should be elected to either house without which he ceases to be a CM.
  • Chief Minister can belong to any house in the State Legislature.

What is the term of Chief Minister’s office?
Aspirants should clearly understand that the term of Chief Minister is not fixed and he holds his office during the pleasure of the governor.

Note:

  • Governor cannot remove him any time.
  • Governor cannot even dismiss him till the time he enjoys the support of the majority of the house.
  • When CM loses his majority support, he has to resign and Governor dismisses him then.

What is the main function of the Chief Minister?
The CM of the state performs functions in relation to the different categories of people:

  • In relation to the Council of Ministers
  • In relation to the Governor
  • In relation to the State Legislature

Other than that, he also performs the following functions:

  • He chairs the State Planning Board
  • He is a vice-chairperson of the concerned zonal council by rotation, holding that office for a period of one year at a time
  • He is a member of Inter-State Council and National Development Council which are headed by the Prime Minister.

In Relation to the Council of Ministers
The Chief Minister is the head of state council of ministers. He performs the following functions:

  • He recommends to the governor on who to appoint as ministers
  • He designates or reshuffles the portfolios of the ministers
  • He can ask a minister to resign
  • Meeting of the council of ministers is headed by him
  • All activities of the ministers are guided and controlled by the Chief Minister
  • If he resigns, the entire council of ministers collapses.

Note: If the CM dies (or resigns), the council automatically dissolves.

In Relation to the Governor
In relation to the governor, the Chief Minister performs the following functions:
(i) All the activities, decisions that are taken up by the council of ministers are communicated to the governor by the chief minister
(ii) To report to the governor, information about the administrative affairs if and when asked by the governor
(iii) If any minister has decided on any issue, the same has to be reported to the Governor by the Chief Minister when the same has not been considered by the council.
He gives his advice to the governor for the appointment of the following persons:

  • Advocate-General
  • Chairman of state public service commission
  • The state election commission, etc.

In Relation to the State Legislature
He is the leader of the house and holding this position, he performs the following functions:

  • Before a governor prorogues and summons the sessions of the state legislature, the Chief Minister’s advice is a must
  • Legislative Assembly can be dissolved at any time on his recommendation to the governor
  • All government policies are announced by him on the floor of the house.

Chief Minister and the Governor

The relationship between the Chief Minister of the state and the state’s governor has always been in the news. The debate on the authority of the respective posts has made the rounds throughout. IAS aspirants will understand the dynamics shared by the CM and the Governor by following the details given below:

Chief Minister - Indian Polity | Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

The document Chief Minister - Indian Polity | Indian Polity for UPSC CSE is a part of the UPSC Course Indian Polity for UPSC CSE.
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FAQs on Chief Minister - Indian Polity - Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

1. Who is the Chief Minister in Indian Polity?
Ans. The Chief Minister is the elected head of government in an Indian state. They are responsible for the administration of the state, implementing policies, and representing the state in various forums.
2. How is the Chief Minister appointed in Indian Polity?
Ans. The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor of the state. After the legislative assembly elections, the Governor invites the leader of the majority party or coalition to form the government. The Chief Minister is then appointed by the Governor.
3. What are the qualifications required to become a Chief Minister in Indian Polity?
Ans. To become a Chief Minister in Indian Polity, one must be a citizen of India and should be a member of the state legislative assembly or council. They should also meet the age requirements and should not hold any office of profit under the government.
4. Can a Chief Minister be removed from office in Indian Polity?
Ans. Yes, a Chief Minister can be removed from office through various means. They can be removed if they lose the majority support in the legislative assembly, if they are disqualified as a member of the assembly, or if they resign voluntarily. The Governor also holds the power to dismiss a Chief Minister under certain circumstances.
5. What are the powers and responsibilities of a Chief Minister in Indian Polity?
Ans. The Chief Minister has several powers and responsibilities, including the formation and implementation of policies, allocation of government resources, representation of the state in the national and international forums, and coordination with various departments for the effective governance of the state. They also play a crucial role in the legislative process by introducing bills and participating in debates.
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