Table of Contents


Who is Chief Minister of a State?

The Chief Minister is the Chief Executive (de facto executive) of the State Government. In India’s Parliamentary System, the Constitution names the Governor as head of the state de jure, but the Chief Minister is the real executive of the state i.e. de facto.

How is the Chief Minister of a state elected?

The Constitution does not contain any specific procedure for the selection and appointment of the Chief Minister. Article 164 says only that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor. However, this does not imply that the Governor is free to appoint anyone as the Chief Minister of the State. For the convenience of the Parliamentary system of India, the Governor has to appoint the leader of the majority party or the alliance that has the majority in the state assembly.

But, when no party has a clear majority in the assembly, then-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 assembly within a month. This happens also when suddenly the Chief Minister dies in the office and there is no obvious successor.

And a person who is not a member of the state legislature can be appointed as the Chief Minister for 6 months, and within that period he should be elected to the state legislature and if he fails to do so then he would be ceased to be the Chief Minister.

What is the tenure of the Chief Minister?

The term of the Chief Minister is not fixed. So long as the Chief Minister has the majority support in the Legislative Assembly he cannot be dismissed by the Governor and if he loses the confidence in assembly then he must resign or the Governor can dismiss him.

What are the powers and the functions of the Chief Minister?

  • He is the chief spokesman of the state government.
  • The Governor can appoint only those persons as the minister who is recommended by the Chief Minister.
  • He allocates and shuffles the various portfolios among the minsters.
  • On his resignation or sudden death, the Council of Ministers automatically gets dissolved. 
  • He is the chairman of the State Planning Board.
  • He announces the government policies on the floor of the house.
  • He advises the Governor with regard to the appointment of the following officials:
    • Chairman and members of the State Public Service Commission, advocate general,
    • State election commissioner, etc.

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