W.B.C.S. Main 2018 Question Answer – Political Science- Discuss the role Chief Minister as enshrined in the constitution of India.
1)Discuss the role Chief Minister as enshrined in the constitution of India.
It is mentioned in the Constitution of India that, each State shall have a Council of Ministers to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions. And the Chief Minister serves as the head of the government in the State. Therefore, the Council of Ministers along with the Chief Minister as its head, exercises real authority in the State Government.
Functions of the Chief Minister
The constitutional position of the Chief Minister is broadly similar to that of the Prime Minister of India. Chief Minister serves as the head of the Council of Ministers of the State. Hence, the Chief Minister plays an important role in the administration of the State. His functions are mentioned as follows:
- Chief Minister acts as the real executive of the State Government. Ministers are also appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Governor even allocates portfolios to these ministers on the advice of the Chief Minister.
- Chief Minister presides over the Cabinet meetings. He coordinates the functioning of different ministries in his/her state.
- He/she guides the functioning of the Cabinet according to their vision.
- Chief Minister plays an important role in framing the policies and laws of the State Government. Also the bills are introduced by the ministers in the State legislature with his/her prior approval.
- He/she is the chief spokesperson of the policies of his/her government, both inside and outside of the State Legislature.
- The Constitution provides that “the Chief Minister shall communicate all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to the administration and the affairs of the State and proposals for legislation to the Governor.”
- The Chief Minister has to furnish information related to the administration of the State and also about the proposals for legislation to the Governor.
- “If the Governor requires, the Chief Minister has to submit for 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 Cabinet.”
- The Chief Minister is the sole link of communication between the Cabinet and the Governor. The Governor has the right to be informed by the Chief Minister about the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers.
These above mentioned functions show that the real authority in the state administration is vested with the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister. Therefore, the Council of Ministers is the real executive of the State. It must be noted that the position of the Council of Ministers largely depends upon the strength of the ruling party in the State Assembly and also on the personality of the Chief Minister.
The powers and functions of the Chief Minister can be discussed under the following heads:
1. The Leader of the Legislative Assembly:
- The Chief Minister is the leader of the Legislative Assembly of the State.
- On his advice the Governor exercises his functions in matters like summoning, proroguing or, if necessary, dissolving the Legislative Assembly.
- As the chief spokesman of the State Government, he explains the government policies.
- In the matter of determining the internal policies of the State, the decision of the Chief Minister is final.
- He comes to the rescue of a minister if he faces any difficulty during the debates in the Assembly. He has to bear the responsibility of getting the important Bills passed.
- He remains responsible to the Legislative Assembly for the acts performed by the State Council of Ministers.
- He has to take great care to ensure smooth conduct of the proceedings of the State Legislature by maintaining contacts and good relations with the opposition.
- In case of conflict arising between him or the Council of Ministers led by him and the State Legislature, he can advise the Governor to dissolve the Legislative Assembly. In such cases, the Governor may also reject his advice by exercising his ‘discretionary powers’.
2. The Leader of the Council of Ministers:
- The Constitution virtually gives a preeminence to the leadership of the Chief Minister by placing him ‘at the head’ of the Council of Ministers.
- The Governor appoints or dismisses other ministers on his advice. The Chief Minister allocates or re-allocates the portfolios among the ministers.
- The responsibility for maintaining unity and integrity among the members of the Council of Ministers lies mainly with him.
- The policies and workings of the different ministries are monitored and co-ordinate by him. He summons and presides over the meetings of the Council of Ministers.
- If there is any conflict of opinion between the Chief Minister and any other minister, the latter has to resign.
- If the Chief Minister resigns, the entire Council of Ministers is bound to resign. So, in case of necessity, he tries to keep the Council of Ministers under his control by brandishing the threat of resignation’.
- In view of his total control over the Council of Ministers, he is described by many as ‘the corner-stone of the Cabinet arch’ in the state.
3. The chief adviser to the Governor:
- The Chief Minister is the chief adviser to the Governor. Generally the Governor exercises all his functions on the advice of the Chief Minister.
- Besides, he has to act as the principal channel of communication between the Governor and the Council of Ministers.
- It is his duty to communicate to the Governor all decisions of the Council of Ministers.
- He has to furnish such information relating to the affairs of the State as the Governor may call for.
4. The Leader of the majority party or alliance:
- It is the leader of the majority party or alliance in the Legislative Assembly whom the Governor appoints the Chief Minister. He has to lead the party in and outside the Assembly, and to see that the image, popularity, integrity and discipline of the party are maintained.
- He is always active to reconcile the policy of the party or the alliance with that of the Government.
- The popularity of the ruling party largely depends on the personality and efficiency of the Chief Minister.
5. Miscellaneous functions:
- It is an important function of the Chief Minister to maintain contact with the people at large.
- He has to keep a watchful eye on the public opinion at the time of formulating government policy and performing his functions.
- He discusses the problems and issues of the State and tries to form public opinion in support of his party or alliance through his speeches in the radio, the T.V., public meetings etc.
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