Chief Minister
Chief Minister
The governor is assisted in the discharge of his functions by a council of ministers headed by the chief minister.
The chief minister is appointed by the governor.
Generally, the leader of the majority party in the state assembly is appointed chief minister, who holds position identical to that of the prime minister at the Centre.
He enjoys a term that runs parallel to that of the state legislature-five years.
However, if the term of the state legislature is extended, the tenure of the Chief Minister is also extended.
Chief Minister
The chief minister recommends to the governor the names of persons to be appointed as members of the council of ministers, and allocates portfolios among them.
He can ask any minister to resign from the council or drop him from the council by reshuffling it.
He coordinates the working of various ministries and ensures that the council works as a team.
Chief Minister
The chief minister is the chief link between the governor and the council of ministers and keeps the former informed of all decisions of the council.
The chief minister takes active part in the deliberations of the state legislature.
He makes all important policy announcements on the floor of the legislature and defends the policies of his government in the house.
Chief Minister
He can recommend dissolution of the legislative assembly to the governor even before the expiry of its term.
Thus, the chief minister of a state occupies a prominent position in the state machinery.
However, the position of the chief minister depends on his personality, the position of his party in the state legislature, and whether his party controls the government at the Centre or not.
Council of Ministers
The council of ministers which has been provided by the Constitution to aid and assist the governor in the discharge of his duties, consists of the chief minister and other ministers.
While the chief minister is appointed by the governor, the other members of the council are appointed by the governor, on the advice of the chief minister.
The council holds office during the pleasure of the governor.
Actually, however, it stays in office as long as it enjoys the confidence of the majority of the state legislature.
The council of ministers works on the principle of collective responsibility and a vote of no-confidence against any minister automatically leads to the resignation of the entire council.
Functions of council of ministers
The council of ministers performs the following functions:
1. It formulates the policy of government and gives it a practical shape.
2. It assists the governor in making all important appointments.
3. Most of the important bills are introduced in the state legislature by members of the council.
4. It formulates the state budget and presents it to the state legislature for approval.
The Advocate General
Each state has an Advocate General, whose position is akin to the position of the Attorney General of India at the Centre.
The Advocate General of a state is appointed by the governor of the state and holds office during his pleasure.
Generally, only a person who is qualified to be a judge of the High Court is appointed as Advocate General.
He receives such remunerations as the governor may determine.
The Advocate General performs similar functions which the Attorney General of India performs at the Centre. The
Advocate General has a right to take part in the proceedings of the state legislature, but he does not enjoy any right to vote.
State legislature
The state legislature consists of the governor and one or two houses.
If the state has only one house, it is known as legislative assembly.
The other is the legislative council.
Legislative council
At present, only six states have a bicameral legislature Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh.
All other states have only one house.
Legislative councils can be created or abolished in a state on the recommendation of the legislative assembly.
Legislative Assembly
This is the popular house of the state legislature and consists of directly elected representatives of the people.
The strength of the legislative assembly varies from 60 to 500 in different states according to population.
However, the legislative assembly of Sikkim has only 32 members.
The assembly enjoys a term of five years but can be dissolved earlier by the governor.
Likewise, its term can be extended by one year at a time by the Parliament during national emergency.
Legislative Assembly
A person can become a member of the legislative assembly only if he
1. is a citizen of India;
2. is more than 25 years of age;
3. possesses such other qualifications as may be prescribed by or under the law enacted by the Parliament.
Disqualified for member of state legislature
On the other hand, a person is disqualified to be a member of state legislature
(i) if he holds any office of profit under the central or state government;
(ii) if he is of unsound mind;
(iii) if he is an undischarged insolvent;
(iv) if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign state;
(v) if he is disqualified by or under any law of Parliament.
The question whether a member of a house of legislature of a state has become subject to any of the said disqualifications, shall be referred to the governor and his decision shall be final.
However, before giving his decision on such a question, the governor is expected to obtain the opinion of the election commission.
Presiding Officer
The presiding officer of the legislative assembly is known as Speaker.
He is elected by the members of the assembly from among themselves.
In addition the assembly also elects a Deputy Speaker, who performs the duties of the speaker in his absence.
In case the office of the deputy speaker is vacant, the duties of the office of speaker are performed by such members of the assembly as the government may appoint for the purpose assembly
Legislative Council
Legislative Council
It is the upper house of the state legislature and contains various categories of members.
It has members elected by
the legislative assembly (one-third)
members elected by local bodies (one-third),
members elected by teachers (one-twelfth),
members elected by university graduates (one-twelfth),
members nominated by the governor(one-sixth).
Legislative Council
The maximum strength of the legislative council can be one-third the total membership of the legislative assembly, but in no case less than 40.
The legislative council enjoys a term of six years with one-third from its members retiring every two years.
The council elects a chairman and a vice-chairman from among its members.
At present legislative council exists in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh.
To be eligible for membership of the legislative council, a person
1. must be a citizen of India;
2. must be more than 30 years of age;
3. must possess such other qualifications as maybe prescribed by Parliament from time to time.
Like the members of legislative assembly, the members of the legislative council must not suffer from any of the prescribed disqualifications, viz. he should not hold any office of profit under the central or state government;
he should not be of unsound mind;
he should not be an undischarged insolvent;
he should not have voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign state;
and he should not be disqualified by or under any law of Parliament.
Presiding Officer
Presiding Officer: The presiding officer of the legislative council is known as Chairman.
He is elected by the members of the legislative council from amongst its members.
In addition the council elects a deputy chairman who discharges the duties of the Chairman in his absence.
Legislative Procedure
Legislative Procedure: The legislative procedure follow in the state legislature is similar to the one followed by the Parliament at the Centre.
A money bill can be introduced only in the state legislative assembly.
After it is passed by the assembly it is sent to the legislative council, if there is one in the state.
The council can at the most delay the passage of the money bill by 14 days.
Legislative Procedure
However, if there is only one house in the state, the bill after it is passed by the assembly is sent to the governor for his assent.
The non-money or ordinary bills can originate in either of the two houses of state legislature. The legislative council can delay an ordinary bill for a maximum period of three months.
Unlike at the Centre, at the state level there is no provision for a joint sitting of the two houses of the state legislature.
If an ordinary bill originates in the council, the assembly can reject it and put an end to it.
Governor's Assent
Governor's Assent: After the bill is passed by the state legislature it is presented to the governor of the state. The governor can:
(i) give an assent to the bill and it becomes a law;
(ii) with hold his assent;
(iii) return the bill (provided it is not a money bill) with a message;
(iv) reserve the bill for the consideration of the President.
It may be noted that if the bill is reserved for the consideration of the President, the final authority to enact the bill shifts to President and the governor cannot play any role in this regard.
Governor's Assent
If a money bill is reserved for the consideration of the President, he can either give his assent or withhold it.
The President can also direct the Governor of the state to send back the bill to the state legislature for reconsideration.
In such an eventuality, the state legislature has to reconsider the bill within six months.
Governor's Assent
If the state legislature repasses the bill, it is directly presented to the President for his assent.
In this case, the President is not obliged to give his assent.
The President can also refer the bill to the Supreme Court for its opinion.
Powers of the State Legislature
The state legislature enjoys the following powers:
1. It can legislate on subjects contained in the state list as well as the concurrent list. However, its laws on concurrent subjects must not conflict with the laws enacted by the Parliament on the same subject.
2. The state legislature exercises complete control over state finances. No taxes can be levied or expenditure incurred by the state government without its approval.
3. The state legislature exercises control over the state council of ministers through questions, supplementary questions, by seeking information, by moving adjournment or censure motions and so on. It can even oust the council of ministers by passing a vote of no-confidence.
Powers of the State Legislature
4. The state legislature participates in the election of the President.
5. It has a share in the amendment of the Constitution insofar as certain provisions of the Constitution can be amended only after ratification by the legislatures of the majority of states.
6. The state legislature considers reports of the Public Service Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, etc. pertaining to the state.
MPLADS and MLALADS SARC has recommended that schemes such as MPLADS (Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) and the MLALADS (Member of the Legislative Assembly Local Area Development Scheme) should be abolished.
Chief Minister
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