” Prime Minister is a moon among lesser stars” – Sir William Vernor Harcourt
India has a parliamentary system of government in which the Prime Minister is the executive head in a real sense and the president is the executive head in a nominal sense.
Indian constitution provides the system of two types of Executive, one is real which is Prime Minister and the other one is nominal which is President.
In Indian democracy, Prime Minister is the head of the government which is formed by the Council of Ministers.
In other words, we can say that the president is the head of the country and the Prime Minister is the head of government.
Here We should understand that constitution does not provide any specific provisions related to the selection and appointment of the Prime Minister. Article 75 says that Prime Minister shall be appointed by the president. But it doesn’t mean that the president will arbitrarily appoint a prime minister. Rather he should follow the convention of the parliamentary system in which the leader of the majority party in Lok Sabha could be appointed as the prime minister.
However, the president has discretionary power also, which can be used if there is no clear majority of any party in Lok Sabha.
In 1980, Delhi High Court said that there is no need to prove the majority in Lok Sabha before anyone is appointed as prime minister. The president can appoint Prime Minister and then ask him to prove the majority in the Lok Sabha in a given time period.
Now the powers and functions of the Prime Minister described below;
The powers and functions of the prime minister can be broadly categorized in three distinct areas;
- Relations with the Council of Ministers
- Relations with the president
- Relations with the parliament and other bodies.
1. Relations with the council of ministers:
The Prime Minister is head of the government and he is also head of the Council of Ministers and leads them.
Prime Minister recommends the president for the appointment of any person as a Minister. The prime minister can also ask any minister to resign. Even the prime minister can advise the president to remove any minister if there is a difference in opinion.
The Prime minister has the power to allocate various portfolios among the ministers and give them the role in that portfolio.
Prime Minister presides the meeting of the Council of Ministers and the final decision is taken by Prime Minister with the consensus of the other member of the Council of Ministers. He acts as a guide, can control and coordinate with various ministries and direct the activity to various ministers in their respective ministry.
The Prime minister has the power to bring a collapse of the Council of Ministers. If the Prime Minister resigns from his office then the other members are automatically collapsed.
2. Relations with the president:
The Prime Minister acts as a bridge between the president and the Council of Ministers and he provides important information through communication to the president related to the decisions of the Council of Ministers.
If the president asks for any information related to the administration of the affairs of the union or proposal for the legislation, it is provided by Prime Minister.
Prime Minister advises the president on issues related to the appointment of important officials like Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Chairman, and member of the UPSC, Election Commissioner, and the member of the finance commissioner, etc.
3. Relations with the parliament:
Prime Minister is the leader of the lower house and leads the look Sabha.
Prime Minister also advises the president related to the proceeding of the Parliament like summoning and proroguing of the session of the parliament. He can announce government policy on the floor of the Parliament and recommend the dissolution of the Lok Sabha to the president at any time.
Some other power of the Prime Minister:
The prime minister is the chairman of the National Development Council, National Integration Council, and Niti Ayog and he also leads the Inter-state Council and national water resource Council.
Prime mister plays a significant role to shape the foreign policy of the country according to the needs and national interest.
He acts as a crisis manager at the political level during any crisis in the country and he also acts as the chief spokesperson of the union government.
As the prime minister is the leader of the nation he represents the country at the various global level platforms.
Prime Minister is a political head of the services as well as he is the leader of the party in power in the country.
Lord Morley once said that the Prime Minister is a first among equals and the keystone of the cabinet arch highlights the importance of the prime Minister.
This article is written by;
Mr. Pankaj Kumar Gupta
(Email ID: [email protected])