Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister is the real executive head in a parliamentary government like India. He is the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha. He is assisted by the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister, along with the Council of Ministers, aid and advise the President.
The Prime Minister is appointed by the President. While appointing the Prime Minister, the President cannot act arbitrarily. According to the convention, the President invites the leader of the majority party or group in the Lok Sabha to form the Government. Sometimes none of the parties get an absolute majority. In such cases, the President may exercise his discretionary power. But the President has to appoint that person who can prove the majority in the House.
POWERS, FUNCTIONS, AND POSITION OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
We may study the powers, functions, and position of the Prime Minister under the following broad heads:
A. Prime Minister and his relations with the President:
a) The Prime Minister is the line of communication between the Cabinet and the President. He conveys Cabinet’s decisions to the President and keeps him informed of all national or foreign matters of the government.
b) The Prime Minister advises the President to summon and prorogue the Parliament and dissolve the Lok Sabha.
c) The Prime Minister advises the President in appointing or removing the high officials.
B. Prime Minister and his relationship with the Council of Ministers:
Who is the head of the Council of Ministers?
The Council of Ministers is headed by the prime Minister. There are three categories of ministers in it.
a) Cabinet Ministers: Cabinet Ministers are usually top-level leaders of the ruling party or parties who are in charge of the major ministries. Usually, the Cabinet Ministers meet to take decisions in the name of the Council of Ministers. The cabinet is thus the inner ring of the Council of Ministers. It comprises about 20 to 30 ministers.
b) Ministers of State with independent charge: There are the ministers who are usually independent in charge of smaller ministries. They participate in the Cabinet meetings only when specially invited.
c) Minister of State: They assist Cabinet Ministers and they are also known as deputy ministers. The members of the Council of Ministers need to be members of either House of the Parliament. Any member of the Council of Ministers including the Prime Minister, who is not a Member of Parliament, has to acquire its membership within six months of his appointment.
C. Prime Minister and his relationship with the Cabinet or the Council of Ministers:
Concerning the Cabinet or the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister possesses the following powers:
a) He forms the Council of Ministers and determines its size, the categories of ministers and their portfolios. The Prime Minister’s decision is final in such matters.
b) The Prime Minister can remove a minister from the Cabinet or the Council of Ministers by asking him/her to resign. He can reallocate portfolios.
c) The Prime Minister calls the meetings of the Council of Ministers, presides over them and decides the agenda.
d) The Prime Minister coordinates the policies and the working of the different departments of the government to ensure that all departments work according to the set policies and decisions of the Cabinet.
D. Prime Minister and his relations with the Parliament:
a) The Prime Minister is the ladder of the Lok Sabha.
b) The Prime Minister is the chief spokesman of the government in the Parliament.
c) The Prime Minister makes all important announcements of the government policies on the floor of the House.
E. Prime Minister and his role in foreign affairs:
There is a minister of foreign affairs, yet the Prime Minister has a significant role in these matters, as noted below:
The Prime Minister represents India in international conferences. He goes to the U.N.O., the Commonwealth, the SAARC, the Non-Aligned Nations meetings and puts forward India’s point of view before the world leaders. He may visit any country to improve India’s relations, or to solve outstanding issues. He is the chief architect of India’s foreign policy.
Do you know, who accompanies the Prime Minister in these conferences?
Usually, the Foreign Minister accompanies the Prime Minister in all the parleys or conferences.
F. Prime Minister as the leader of the Nation:
The Prime Minister is the acknowledged leader of the nation as a whole. The whole nation looks up to him for leadership. Actually, at the time of general elections, it is for or against the Prime-ministerial candidate that the entire electorate in the country votes, though he/she is contesting from a particular Constituency.
Thus, we can say that in a practical sense, the election of the Prime Minister is the direct choice of the voters. In other words, if the people want to choose a particular candidate as their Prime Minister, they vote for the candidate of the Prime Minister’s party in their Constituency.
1. Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party in the _____________.
a) Legislative Council
b) State Council
c) Rajya Sabha
d) Lok Sabha
2. The Prime Minister is appointed by the __________________.
a) Chief Election Commissioner
3. Who makes all important announcements on national policies on the floors of the House?
a) Party Spokesperson
b) Home Minister
d) Prime Minister
4. The Prime Minister advises the _________ in appointing or removing the high officials.
b) Chief Justice
5. The inner ring of the Council of Ministers is known as ___________.
Exercise: Test your mind
Fill in the blanks:
1. The political executives are elected by the people for a specific period.
2. Indian government’s chief legal advisor is known as the Attorney General of India.
3. Impeachment is a procedure by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official.
4. Article 360 states Financial Emergency.
5. Article 356 states Constitutional Emergency.
Write True or False:
1. Ordinary citizens play no part in the election of the President. True
2. The President is the line of communication between the Cabinet and the Prime Minister. False
3. The Prime Minister can reallocate portfolios of the Cabinet Ministers.True
4. The Prime Minister decides about the admissibility of a question or a resolution in the Rajya Sabha. False
5. The Prime Minister represents India in international conferences. True
Read More: Vice President Of India: Term and Functions – Class 8 Notes