Chief Ministers

According to the Constitution of India , in a state, council of ministers elected head is the Chief Minister of the state. Chief Minister has the ‘de facto’ executive powers, despite Governor is the official ‘head of the state.

Of a state, Chief Minister is the real head. The day-to-day functioning of Chief Minister is observed by the Chief Minister as India has adopted the Westminster Model of constitutional democracy.

According to the Constitution of India, the Council of ministers assists the Chief minister,council of minister consists of cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and others. The CM is appointed by and sworn in by the Governor.
Power and Authority of Chief Minister

The powers and functions enjoyed by the Chief Minister are :

  • The state’s government executive powers are hold by the Chief minister. The chief Minister has the power to form the council of ministers, for particular ministries within the working of the state. he can choose members.The Cabinet, is the core council of ministers, the members of the Cabinet are decided by the Chief Minister. Ministers are removed from their portfolios if the CM does not like his/her performance.
  • Between the Governor and the council of ministers, the Chief Minister act as a link. Suggestions and the advice of the Governor are communicated to the council of ministers by the Chief Minister.
  • In financial matters, Chief Minister has a very important role which includes the budget, basic infrastructural and developmental priorities of the state, financial planning and economic growth of the state and others.
  • The chief spokesperson of a state’s government is the Chief Minister. All policies and decisions to the people of the state are communicated by the Chief Minister via media. Chief Minister holds the press conferences where he makes aware the citizens of a state aware of the functioning of the government.
  • With the help of the council of ministers, in the state all the major decisions are taken. Chief Minister have the responsibility of the technological, infrastructural and socio-economic development, since he holds the executive power.

Salary of Chief Minister

  • The salary of Chief Minister of a state in India and is is accompanied by a number of other allowances, besides the basic pay, such as constituency allowances, sumptuary allowances ( tax free) and daily allowances.
  • Article 164 of the constitution of India, respective state legislatures in the country decides the salary of the CM and it varies with the state.

Facilities availed by the Chief Minister

Medical facilities, residential facilities, reimbursement of electricity and phone charges, traveling facilities and many more are allotted to the Chief Minister of the state.
The amount allotted for each of these facilities to the Chief Minister varies from one state to another, as these are specifically detailed in the respective state legislatures of the country

Medical facilities:

He has the right to avail the free medical treatment, reimbursement and free accommodation in all hospitals run by the Government and other referral hospitals declared by the government as per Medical Attendance Rules.

Residence facilities:

The Chief Minister is entitled to have a rent-free and well furnished residence. It varies with the state.

Reimbursement of electricity and phone charges:

A fixed amount of money as reimbursement against phone call charges made in a month can be reimbursed by the Chief minister. A fixed quantity of electricity units are allotted free of cost to the Chief Minister, for the monthly consumption of electricity.

Traveling facilities:

In a year, a fixed amount of money for Chief Minister’s traveling expenses is given. According to Article 164 of the Indian Constitution the amount can vary. In a year , for free traveling a certain amount is fixed.

Selection Process of Chief Minister

  • The appointing authority is the governor, who suggests a vote of confidence procedurally in the state legislature, to establish the selection of the Chief Minister. By the people of a state, Chief Minister cannot be directly elected as per the the Westminster model of parliamentary system which is followed by India.
  • Particular representatives from various constituencies in a state can only be elected by the people as the members of the state legislature or MLAs of the Vidhan Sabha. These representatives, especially from the majority party which forms the government, then choose the Chief Minister from among them. Chief Minister serves for a period of five years. However, the tenure of the Chief Minister can be terminated by the governor before the period of five years, when the majority party loses the confidence vote in the state legislative assembly.

Selection Process of Chief Minister

  • The appointing authority is the governor, who suggests a vote of confidence procedurally in the state legislature, to establish the selection of the Chief Minister. By the people of a state, Chief Minister cannot be directly elected as per the the Westminster model of parliamentary system which is followed by India.
  • Particular representatives from various constituencies in a state can only be elected by the people as the members of the state legislature or MLAs of the Vidhan Sabha. These representatives, especially from the majority party which forms the government, then choose the Chief Minister from among them. Chief Minister serves for a period of five years. However, the tenure of the Chief Minister can be terminated by the governor before the period of five years, when the majority party loses the confidence vote in the state legislative assembly.

Term of Office and Retirement Age

  • Chief Minister serves for a time period of 5 years. When the state legislative assembly is dissolved and fresh elections are held in the Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly). Chief Minister can be terminated by the governor before the term of five years, when the majority party/alliance loses the confidence vote in the state legislative assembly. Before the completion of his period, Chief Minister can also resign from his post.
  • Chief Minister has no age for retirement. For becoming the Chief Minister 25 years is the minimum age .

Pension of Chief Minister

According to Indian Constitution , the Chief Minister of a state is entitled to a certain amount of pension after his or her retirement. However, the amount varies in the respective state legislatures. In the case of death of the Chief Minister, his or her spouse is entitled to pension too.

Interesting Facts about Chief Ministers

  • Sucheta Kriplani of the Indian National Congress was the first woman Chief Minister in the history of independent India, She served the post of the CM of Uttar Pradesh from 1963 to 1967.
  • The first Dalit Chief Minister of any Indian state was Mayawati of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Mayawati also had a significant record of being one of the longest-serving Chief Ministers of UP, being in office for a total of 2554 days.
  • Jyoti Basu of the CPI (M) is the longest-serving Chief Minister of any state in India. He remained the CM of West Bengal from 1977 to 2000, being in power for 8539 days.
  • Nadendla Bhaskara Rao has served the shortest-term as a Chief Minister. He remained the CM of Andhra Pradesh for a very brief period of only 31 days in 1984.
  • Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) functioned as CM of Delhi only for 49 days, after which he resigned over the non-passage of anti-graft legislation, the Jan Lokpal Bill.
  • The first Chief Minister who died in office was C N Annadurai from Tamil Nadu.
  • J Jayalalitha of the AIADMK, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, was a popular actress in the film industry, before she joined politics.
  • Mamata Banerjee, the present CM of West Bengal and the TMC supremo, is the only leader who could oust the 34 years of Left Front rule in the state. She remains, to this day, one of the consistent critics of the Left Front.
  • The first Muslim woman to become the Chief Minister of any state in India is Syeda Anwara Taimur. A Congress leader, she remained CM of the north-eastern state of Assam, from December 1980 to June 1981.
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