Chief Minister in India: Appointment, Powers and Functions

The Governor is a state's de jure head, but de facto executive authority rests with the Chief Minister. So, Chief Minister is the real executive of the Government. Article 164 of the Constitution says that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor.
Indian Map
Indian Map

After the abolition of the article 370 from the Indian Constitution now the number of sates in India remained 28 while the number of Union territories (UTs) has increased to 9. There are 3 UTs (Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu & Kashmir) that have bicameral legislative assemblies.

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Appointment of Chief Minister

Our constitution does not specifically mention about the qualification to be appointed as Chief Minister (CM).  Article 164 of the Constitution envisages 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 or UT. 

Powers and functions of the Chief Minister

The powers and functions of CM can be classified under following heads:

With respect to council of ministers –

The following are the powers of CM with respect to state council of ministers –

1). He advises the Governor to appoint any person as a minister. It is only according to the advice of CM the Governor appoints ministers.

2).  Allocation and reshuffling of portfolios among ministers.

3). In case of difference of opinion; he can ask minister to resign.  

4). Directs, guides and controls activities of all the ministers.

5). If the Chief Minister resign then full cabinet has to resign.

With Respect to Governor -

Under Article 167 of our constitution: The Chief Minister acts as a link between Governor and state council of ministers. The functions with respect to the Governor are as follows: 

1). CM has to communicate to the Governor all the decisions of the council of ministers relating to the administration of the states.

2). Whenever the Governor calls for any information relating to the decisions taken or regarding the administration, the CM has to provide him the same

3). The Governor can ask for consideration of council of ministers when a decision has been taken without the consideration of the cabinet.

4). CM advises Governor regarding the appointment of important officials like Attorney General, State Public Service Commission (Chairman and Members), State Election Commission etc.

With Respect to State Legislature –

1) All the policies are announced by him on the floor of the house.

2) He recommends dissolution of legislative assembly to the Governor.

3) He advises the Governor regarding summoning, proroguing the sessions of State  Legislative Assembly from time to time.

Other Functions

1) At the ground level he is the authority to be in contact with the people regularly and know about their problems so as to bring about policies on the floor of the assembly.

2) He acts as the chairman of State Planning Commission.

3) He is the vice chairman of concerned zonal council in rotation for a period of one year.

4) During emergencies he acts as the crisis manager in the state.

S from the above explanation it can be conclude that the Chief Minister of a state has wide range of functions. He is the leader of the MLAs elected by the general public of the state.

List of Current Chief Ministers in India


List of Indian States and their Symbols

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