- In the Republic of India, a chief minister is the head of government of each of twenty-nine states and two union territories (Delhi and Puducherry).
- Chief Minister’s position in state is analogous to the prime ministers position at the centre.
- 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.
- In case the chief minister dies and no successor is present then the governor may appoint one at his discretion but if the ruling party has a nominee then the governor has no choice but to appoint that person.
- CM must become member of either house within 6 months or else he ceases to become the CM. CM occupies position at the governors pleasure but the governor can’t dismiss him till he has a majority in the house.
Power and Authority of Chief Minister
The powers and functions of the Chief Minister can be studied under the following heads:
In Relation to Council of Ministers
The Chief Minister enjoys the following powers as head of the state council of ministers:
- The governor appoints only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the Chief
- He allocates and reshuffles the portfolios among
- He can ask a minister to resign or advise the governor to dismiss him in case of difference of
- He presides over the meetings of the council of ministers and influences its decisions.
- He guides, directs, controls and coordinates the activities of all the
Chief Minister is the head of the council of ministers, his resignation or death automatically dissolves the council of ministers. The resignation or death of any other minister, on the other hand, merely creates a vacancy, which the Chief Minister may or may not like to fill.
In Relation to the Governor
- He is the principal channel of communication between the governor and the council of 7 It is the duty of the Chief Minister:
- to communicate to the Governor of the state all decisions of the council of ministers 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;and
- 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
- He 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
In Relation to State Legislature
The Chief Minister enjoys the following powers as the leader of the house:
- He advises the governor with regard to the summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the state
- He can recommend the dissolution of the legislative assembly to the governor at any
- He announces the government policies on the floor of the
Other Powers and Functions
- He is the chairman of the State Planning
- He acts as a vice-chairman of the concerned zonal council by rotation, holding office for a period of one year at a8
- He is a member of the Inter-State Council and the National Development Council, both headed by the
- He is the chief spokesman of the state
- He is the crisis manager-in-chief at the political level during
- As a leader of the state, he meets various sections of the people and receives memoranda from them regarding their problems
Thus, he plays a very significant and highly crucial role in the state administration. 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.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOVERNOR
Article 163: There shall be a council of ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advise the governor on the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.
- The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor and other ministers shall be appointed by the governor on the advise of the Chief Minister;
- The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the governor;and
- The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the legislative assembly of the
Article 167: It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister:
- to communicate to the governor of the state all decisions of the council of ministers 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 ;and
- if the governour 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
Interesting Facts about Chief Ministers in India
- The first woman Chief Minister in the history of independent India was Sucheta Kriplani of the Indian National Congress (INC). She served the post of the CM of Uttar Pradesh from 1963 to 1967. Closely following her was Nandini Satpathy who governed Odisha as the CM from 1972 to 1976.
- The first Dalit Chief Minister of any Indian state was Mayawati of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Mayawati also had a significant record of being one of the longest-serving Chief Ministers of UP, being in office for a total of 2554 days.
- Jyoti Basu of the CPI (M) is the longest-serving Chief Minister of any state in India. He remained the CM of West Bengal from 1977 to 2000, being in power for 8539 days. It was under his regime that the historic land reform movement ‘Operation Barga’ was carried out throughout rural West Bengal, a model soon replicated in other parts of the country.
- Nadendla Bhaskara Rao has served the shortest-term as a Chief Minister. He remained the CM of Andhra Pradesh for a very brief period of only 31 days in 1984.
- In a more recent instance, Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) functioned as CM of Delhi only for 49 days, after which he resigned over the non-passage of anti-graft legislation, the Jan Lokpal Bill.
- The only female Chief Minister to lead her government for three consecutive terms in any state of independent India is Sheila Dikshit of the INC. Dikshit remained the CM of Delhi for a continuous term from 1998 to 2013.
- The only Chief Minister of a state in India to have been blamed for not taking decisive action against communal riots in the country is Narendra Modi, the former Chief Minister of Gujarat and the incumbent Prime Minister of India. Though, he was given a clean chit by the Special Investigative Team (SIT) in 2007.
- The first Chief Minister who died in office was C N Annadurai from Tamil Nadu.
- Janaki Ramachandran of AIADMK is the only woman Chief Minister to have remained in office for a mere term of 23 days.
- J Jayalalitha of the AIADMK, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, was a popular actress in the film industry, before she joined politics.
- Mamata Banerjee, the present CM of West Bengal and the TMC supremo, is the only leader who could oust the 34 years of Left Front rule in the state. She remains, to this day, one of the consistent critics of the Left Front.
- The first Muslim woman to become the Chief Minister of any state in India is Syeda Anwara Taimur. A Congress leader, she remained CM of the north-eastern state of Assam, from December 1980 to June 1981.
Articles Related to Chief Minister
Article 163 – Council of Ministers to aid and advise Governor
Articl164 – Other provisions as to Ministers
Article 166 – Conduct of business of the Government of a State
Article: 167 – Duties of Chief Minister as respects the furnishing of information to Governor, etc.
List of Chief Ministers in India