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Indian Polity

Chief Minister

  • 06 Jul 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, Pushkar Singh Dhami was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister (CM) of Uttarakhand.

  • He takes over the position just a few months ahead of Assembly polls, due early in 2022.

Key Points

  • Appointment:
    • Article 164 of the Constitution envisages that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor.
      • 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.
      • The Governor is the nominal executive authority, but real executive authority rests with the Chief Minister.
      • However, the discretionary powers enjoyed by the governor reduces to some extent the power, authority, influence, prestige and role of the Chief Minister in the state administration.
    • A person who is not a member of the state legislature can be appointed as Chief Minister for six months, within which time, he should be elected to the state legislature, failing which he ceases to be the Chief Minister.
  • Term of the CM:
    • The term of the Chief Minister is not fixed and he holds office during the pleasure of the governor.
      • He cannot be dismissed by the governor as long as he enjoys the majority support in the legislative assembly.
    • The State Legislative Assembly can also remove him by passing a vote of no-confidence against him.
  • Powers and Functions:
    • With Respect to Council of Ministers:
      • The governor appoints only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the Chief Minister.
      • He allocates and reshuffles the portfolios among ministers.
      • He can bring about the collapse of the council of ministers by resigning from office, since the Chief Minister is the head of the council of ministers.
    • With Respect to Governor:
      • Under Article 167 of the Constitution, the Chief Minister acts as a link between the Governor and state council of ministers.
      • CM advises the Governor regarding the appointment of important officials like advocate general, chairman and members of the State Public Service Commission, State Election Commission, etc.
    • With Respect to State Legislature:
      • All the policies are announced by him on the floor of the house.
      • He recommends dissolution of legislative assembly to the Governor.
    • Other Functions:
      • He is the chairman of the State Planning Board.
      • He acts as a vice-chairman of the concerned zonal council by rotation, holding office for a period of one year at a time.
      • He is a member of the Inter-State Council and the Governing Council of NITI Aayog, both headed by the prime minister.
      • He is the chief spokesman of the state government.
      • He is the crisis manager-in-chief at the political level during emergencies.
      • As a leader of the state, he meets various sections of the people and receives memoranda from them regarding their problems, and so on.
      • He is the political head of the services.

Source: TH

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