What is The Position and Role of Chief Minister in India?

The Role and Position of Chief Minister in India

In India, the Chief Minister is the real ruler of the State and his role, status and position is very high. The Chief Minister is in the state what the Prime Minister is at the centre. After every general election, the Governor appoints the leader of the majority party in the State Assembly or as is often the case, the leader of a combination of parties forming a coalition, the Chief Minister of the state.

Though formally, Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor and serves during his pleasure, in reality, in the appointment of the Chief Minister, the Governor has no free hand. The constitution makes the Council of Minister together with the Chief Minister collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) of the State i.e. the popularly elected chamber of the legislature.

Collective responsibility ensures that the Governor will not find any other person but the leader of the majority group in the Legislative Assembly, able to command majority support and hence fit to be appointed Chief Minister.

The Indian constitution (vide 42nd amendment) makes the advice of central Council of Ministers binding on the President. A parallel amendment of the constitution has not been made making the advice of the State Council of Ministers binding on the Governor. This is because; the Governor has been given some powers to be exercised at his discretion. Some subsequent amendments of the constitution also vest the Governor with some special responsibilities. Barring these two fields the Governor acts in all other matters on the advice of the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister is the head of the Government. The Ministers are appointed on the advice of the Chief Minister. Portfolios among ministers are in reality allocated by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister has also the power to ease a minister out of office. He may advice the Governor to drop a minister. The Chief Minister presides over the meetings of the State Cabinet.

The Chief Minister also is the leader of the legislature. He is the leader of the majority group. Through his control over the legislative majority, he controls the legislature.

The position of the Chief Minister is very important and his role is to carry out the most important functions of the state.

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