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Governors of States in India

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Governors of States in India:


Context:

The President appoints new Governors for 8 states.

Governors of States in India (Article 152-162):

  • A governor is a nominal head of a state, unlike the Chief Minister who is the real head of a state in India.
  • According to the 7th Constitutional Amendment Act 1956, the same person can be the Governor of two or more states.
  • The Governor of a State shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.

 

Removal:

The Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.

  • Can be terminated earlier by: Dismissal by the president, at whose pleasure the governor holds office or Resignation by the governor.
  • There is no provision of impeachment, as it happens for the president.

 

Some discretionary powers are as follows:

  1. Can dissolve the legislative assembly if the chief minister advises him to do following a vote of no confidence. Following which, it is up to the Governor what he/ she would like to do.
  2. Can recommend the president about the failure of the constitutional machinery in the state.
  3. Can reserve a bill passed by the state legislature for the president’s assent.
  4. Can appoint anybody as chief minister If there is no political party with a clear-cut majority in the assembly.
  5. Determines the amount payable by the Government of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to an autonomous Tribal District Council as royalty accruing from licenses for mineral exploration.
  6. Can seek information from the chief minister with regard to the administrative and legislative matters of the state.

 

Problems with constitutional design:

  1. The governor is merely appointed by the president on the advice of the Central government.
  2. Unlike the president, a governor does not have a fixed term. He/she holds office at the pleasure of the ruling party in the centre.
  3. Both the manner of the appointment and the uncertainty of tenure conspire to make the incumbent an object of the Central government in politically charged circumstances.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know that if there is a dominion status, the administrative head is called only as a Governor General? Hence, from 15th Aug 1947 till India became Republic, the title used was ‘Governor General’,  which became redundant on our 1st Republic day and changed to the ‘President’.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of Articles 163 and 174.
  2. Is the Governor bound by the advice of the chief minister-led council of ministers when it comes to convening the assembly session?
  3. Who appoints Chief Minister?
  4. Discretionary powers of Governor.
  5. Tenure of governor.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the discretionary powers of a governor of state.

Sources: the Hindu.