What are the power and function of the state Chief Minister?

The administration of the state is moved in the name of the Governor but in practice it is the Chief Minister who runs the administration. The head of the Council of Ministers of Chief Minister. The position of the State Chief Minister is quite the same as that of the Prime-Minister in the centre.

Appointment

The Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor. But the Governor is not free or independent in the appointment of the Chief Minister. He can appoint only the leader of the majority party in Legislative Assembly as the Chief Minister of the state. If the Governor appoints someone else to this post then the administration of the state cannot be run smoothly. If no party commands absolute majority in the Legislative Assembly of the state or the majority party fails to elect its leader, the Governor can use some discretion in appointing the Chief Minister. But he is to see that the Chief Minister can get the support of the majority in the legislature.

Tenure

Tenure of the Chief Minister is maximum for five years. The Chief Minister remains in office so far he is supported by the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly. The Chief Minister resigns when the majority in Legislative Assembly goes against him.

Salary

The salary and allowances of the Chief Minister are fixed by the State Legislature.

Powers and function of the Chief Minister

The Chief Minister of a state enjoys in the state a position similar to the position of the Prime Minister in the Union of India. For all practical purpose the Chief Minister holds the executive power of the State Government in his hands.

i) Formation of the Ministry

The Chief Minister forms the Cabinet. After his appointment he prepares a list of other Ministries and the Governor makes appointments of the ministers according to that list. No person can be appointed minister against without the will of the Chief Minister.

ii) Distribution of Portfolios

The departments are distributed among the ministers by the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister looks after the work of other ministers. He can change the departments of the Ministers whenever he likes. The ministers keep the Chief Minister informed regarding the working of their departments. They get advice of the Chief Minister whenever necessary.

Removal of Ministers

The ministers remain in office during the pleasure of the Chief Minister. The Governor cannot remove can ask any minister to resign if he is not happy with his work. He can make a charge in his Council of Ministries whenever he likes.

Chairman of the cabinet

The Governor cannot participate in the meeting of the cabinet. The Chief Minister calls the meetings of the Cabinet and presides over its meeting. He also prepared and controls the agenda for cabinet meeting. The Cabinet takes its decisions unanimously and normally the views of the Chief Minister carry weight.

Leadership in the cabinet in the Legislative

The Chief Minister can attend the meeting of both the Houses and can participate in their working. The members of the legislature ask questions to the cabinet members and criticize their policies and actions. When a minister cannot give satisfactory reply to the criticism of a member, the Chief Minister assists the minister in satisfying the member. The important decisions taken by the Cabinet are announced in the Legislative by the Chief Minister.

Leader of the Legislature

The Chief Minister is also the leader of the Legislature. He is the leader of the Legislative Assembly because his party commands majority in the Legislative. Legislative Assembly is more important than the Legislative council. The Legislative Council cannot stand in the way of Legislative Assembly. Hence, the legislature generally acts under the guidance of the Chief Minister. No law can be framed without the will of the Chief Minister. During emergency also the Legislature performs its functions according to the instructions of the Chief Minister.

Leader of the Masses

The Chief Minister is the leader of the masses in the state. He is the elected representative of the people and is supported by the majority party in the House. The people of the state are always ready to carry out the wishes of the Chief Minister.

Position of the Chief Minister

In the state the position of the Chief Ministers is similar to the position of the Prime Minister at the centre. The Chief Minister is the man of conscience in the state. Against his wishes neither a Bill can be passed nor can a tax be levied. He is like the sun around which their ministers revolve like connected with his party. If his party enjoys a thin majority in the House or it lacks solidarity the position of the Chief Minister may be vulnerable. Before the 1967 General Elections the Congress Party was the master of the country. But after that the split in the party destroyed the unity of the party and ended the monopoly of power. In most of the sates coalition Governments came into power. Various political parties joined and formed their Governments. But coalition Government falls under its own weight. Parties forming the Government quarrel on flimsy maters and part with throwing the administration to dogs. Surely when the Chief Minister heads a single party Government his pre-eminence is unquestioned but in a coalition or a multi party Government his pre-eminence is derived solely from agreement among the partners. While depending upon the support of other parties, it is clear that he cannot break up the coalition by seeking to dismiss the minister representing the partnership and yet claim to remain in office himself. Under such circumstances the Chief Minister depends upon the vagaries of the Legislature.