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Appointment and removal of Chief Minister

Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Appointment and removal of Chief Minister:


Context:

With the six-month window for him to get elected to the Assembly closing and increasing uncertainties, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has resigned.

 

What are the issues?

The Election Commission (EC) was yet to take a call on holding bypolls for vacant Assembly seats, which would have given Mr. Rawat a way to carry on as Chief Minister.

  • As per the Constitution, he had six months, till September 10, to become a member of the Uttarakhand Assembly in order to continue in the post.

Representation of the People Act, 1951, mandates that a byelection for any vacancy should be held within six months of that vacancy arising, provided the remainder of the term is not less than one year or the EC and the Centre do not certify that holding the bypoll in that time frame is difficult.

  • The term of current assembly elected in 2017 will expire on 23 March 2022- General elections in the State are less than a year away.

 

Appointment of CM:

The Chief Minister is appointed by the governor.

  • 164 of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at its hand to aid and advise the governor.

 

Who can be a Chief Minister?

After general election to the State Legislative Assembly, the party or coalition group which secures majority in this House, elects its leader and communicates his name to the Governor. The Governor then formally appoints him as the Chief Minister and asks him to form his Council of Ministers.

  • When no party gets a clear majority in the State Legislative Assembly, the Governor normally asks the leader of the single largest party to form the government.

 

Tenure:

Theoretically, the Chief Minister holds office during the pleasure of the Governor. However, in actual practice the Chief Minister remains in office so long as he continues to be the leader of the majority in the State Legislative Assembly.

  • The Governor can dismiss him in case he loses his majority support.
  • The State Legislative Assembly can also remove him by passing a vote of no-confidence against him.

 

Powers and Functions of the Chief Minister:

  • To Aid and Advice the Governor.
  • The Chief Minister is at the Head of the Council of Ministers.
  • He is the Leader of the House.
  • He has to communicate to the Governor all the decisions of the council of ministers relating to the administration of the states.
  • All the policies are announced by him on the floor of the house.
  • He recommends dissolution of legislative assembly to the Governor.
  • He advises the Governor regarding summoning, proroguing the sessions of State Legislative Assembly from time to time.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that Section 11 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, allows the Election Commission to reduce or remove disqualification “for reasons to be recorded”? Know more about this here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who can be a Chief Minister?
  2. Role of Governor in appointing a Chief Minister.
  3. Council of Ministers.
  4. Powers.
  5. Functions.
  6. Tenure.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of a Chief Minister.

Sources: the Hindu.