The Prime Minister of India:Power and Functions
There is no special process for the election of the Prime Minister in the Constitution of India. Article 75 only says that India shall have a Prime Minister whose appointment shall be made by the President. The Prime Minister is the leader of the Council of Ministers.
The President is the only nominal ruler while the real executive powers are envisaged in the Prime Minister. In this article, we have explained about the Power and Functions of the Prime Minister of India.
The main functions of Prime Minister related to the Council of Ministers are as follows:
1. The Prime Minister recommends the names of members of his team to appoint as a Minister. The President can only make those people as ministers whose names are recommended by the Prime Minister.
2. Prime Minister determines which department will be given to which minister and he can also change the allotted department of any Minister.
3. He also presides over the meeting of the Council of Ministers and can change the decisions according to his wishes.
4. He can ask any minister to resign or advise the president to dismiss him in case of differences of opinion.
5. He also controls and directs the activities of all Ministers.
6. He can bring about the collapse of the Council of Ministers by resigning from office.
Note: If the Prime Minister resigns from his post or dies, then other ministers can’t do any work, which means the Council of Ministers dissolves itself with the death/resignation of the Prime Minister.
Rights in relation to appointments:
The Prime Minister has the right to give advice to the President in relation to the appointment of the following officers:
2. Attorney-General of India
3. Solicitor General of India
4. President of the Union Public Service Commission and its members
5. Election Commissioners
6. Chairman and Members of the Finance Commission
Rights in the context of Parliament:
The prime minister is the leader of the lower house of Parliament and he enjoys the following powers.
1. He advises the President with regard to summoning and proroguing of the sessions of the parliament.
2. He can recommend the dissolution of the sessions of the Parliament.
3. He declares government policies on the floor of the house.
Other powers of the Prime Minister:
1. He plays an important role in shaping the foreign policy of the nation.
2. He is the chief spokesman of the Central Government.
3. He is the leader of the ruling party.
4. He is ex-officio Chairman of the Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog), National Development Council, National Integration Council, Inter-State Council and National Water Resources Council.
5. He is the crisis manager-in-chief at the political level during emergencies.
6. He is the political head of the armies.
Relation to the President of India
The relationship between the President and the Prime Minister is given in the following two articles.
1. Article 74: There shall be a Council of Ministers to help and advise the President of India. The President shall work as per the instructions given by the Prime Minister but the president has the power to request the council of the minister to reconsider the advice. Although the president is bound to work as per the advice given after the reconsideration.
2. Article 75:
a. The president will appoint the Prime Minister and other ministers shall be appointed by the president on the advice tendered by the Prime Minister.
b. The Ministers can remain on his post till the pleasure of the President.
c. The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.
Prime Minister's Duties:
1. Submit the report of all the affairs of the Council of Ministers to the President.
2. Give full information to the President regarding any emergency situation or any sudden development in the foreign policy.
3. Inform the President on all the decisions of the Council of Ministers related to the activities and administration of the Union.
Commenting on the Prime Minister's power, Dr. Ambedkar said that “if any functionary under our constitution is to be compared with the USA president, he is the prime minister and not the President of India”.
Thus, it can be said that in the Parliamentary system of India, the President is the only nominal Executive Chief and the actual executive powers are contained in the Prime Minister