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Chief Minister work | power | eligibility | appointment Explained

In the scheme of parliamentary system of government provided by the Constitution, the governor is the nominal executive authority (de jure executive) and the Chief Minister is the real executive authority (de facto executive). In other words, the governor is the head of the state while the Chief Minister is the head of the government. Thus the position of the Chief Minister at the state level is analogous to the position of prime minister at the Centre.

APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF MINISTER
The Constitution does not contain any specific procedure for the selection and appointment of the Chief Minister. Article 164 only says that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor.
However, this does not imply that the governor is free to appoint any one as the Chief Minister. In accordance with the convections of the parliamentary system of government, the governor has to appoint the leader of the majority party in the state legislative assembly as the Chief Minister.
 But, when no party has a clear majority in the assembly, then the governor may exercise his personal
discretion in the selection and appointment of the Chief Minister. In such a situation, the governor usually appoints the leader of the largest party or coalition in the assembly as the Chief Minister and ask him to seek a vote of confidence in the House within a month.

The Constitution does not require that a person must prove his majority in the legislative assembly before he is appointed as the Chief Minister. The governor may first appoint him as the Chief Minister and then ask him to prove his majority in the legislative assembly within a reasonable period. 
A person who is not a member of the state legislature can be appointed as Chief Minister for six months

POWERS AND FUNCTIONS 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:
(a) The governor appoints only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the Chief Minister.
(b) He allocates and reshuffles the portfolios among ministers.
(c) He can ask a minister to resign or advise the governor to dismiss him in case of difference of opinion.
(d) He presides over the meetings of the council of ministers and influences its decisions.
(e) He guides, directs, controls and coordinates the activities of all the ministers.
(f) He can bring about the collapse of the co-uncil of ministers by resigning from office.

In Relation to the Governor
The Chief Minister enjoys the following powers in relation to the governor:
  • (a) He is the principal channel of communication between the governor and the council of ministers.
  • It is the duty of the Chief Minister:
  • (i) 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;
  • (ii) 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
  • (iii) 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 council.
  • (b) 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:
(a) He advises the governor with regard to the summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the state legislature.
(b) He can recommend the dissolution of the legislative assembly to the governor at any time.
(c) He announces the government policies on the floor of the house.

Other Powers and Functions
In addition, the Chief Minister also performs the following functions:
(a) He is the chairman of the State Planning Board.
(b) He acts as a vice-chairman of the concerned zonal council by rotation, holding office for a period of one year at a time.
(c) He is a member of the Inter-State Council and the National Development Council, both headed by the prime minister.
(d) He is the chief spokesman of the state government.
(e) He is the crisis manager-in-chief at the political level during emergencies.
(f) As a leader of the state, he meets various sections of the people and receives memoranda from them regarding their problems, and so on.
(g) He is the political head of the services.

RELATIONSHIP WITH THE GOVERNOR
The following provisions of the Constitution deal with the relationship between the governor and the Chief Minister:
1. 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.
2. Article 164:
(a) 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;
(b) The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the governor; and
(c) The council of ministers shall be collectively responsible to the legislative assembly of the state.
3. Article 167:
 It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister:
(a) 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;
(b) 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
(c) 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 council.

Reference
Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth

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