Article 164 - Appointment of the Chief Minister
Q. Which of the following is/are true regarding the appointment of the Chief Minister (CM)?
1) Article 164 provides procedure for selection and appointment of the CM.
2) A person need not prove his majority before he/she is appointed as CM.- Published on 06 Mar 17
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
ANSWER: Only 2
- In parliamentary system of government, the Governor is the nominal executive authority (de jure executive) (head of state) and Chief Minister is the real executive authority (de facto executive) (head of government).
- Position of CM at state is similar to position of PM at the centre.
Appointment of the CM -
- The Constitution does not contain any specific procedure for the selection and appointment of the Chief Minister.
- Article 164 says only that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor.
- But in accordance with the conventions of the parliamentary system of government, the Governor has to appoint the leader of the majority party in the legislative assembly as the Chief Minister.
- However, when no party has a clear majority in the legislative assembly, then the Governor may exercise his personal discretion in the selection and appointment of the Chief Minister.
- In such a situation, the Governor usually appoints the leader of the largest party or coalition in the legislative assembly as the Chief Minister and asks him to seek a vote of confidence in the House within a month.
- Also, when the Chief Minister in office dies suddenly and there is no obvious successor, then too, the Governor can exercise his/her discretion.
- However, on the death of an incumbent Chief Minister, the ruling party elects a new leader, the Governor has no choice but to appoint him as Prime Minister.
- Constitution does not require that a person must prove his majority in the legislative assembly before he is appointed as the CM.
- The Governor may first appoint him the Chief Minister and then ask him to prove his majority in the assembly within a reasonable period.
- A person who is not a member of either House of state legislature can be appointed as Chief Minister for six months, within which, he should become a member of either House of state legislature; otherwise, he ceases to be the CM.
- The CM may be a member of any of the two Houses of state legislature.