The Indian government has been divided into three important organs, namely the Executive, The Legislature, and the Judiciary. The head of the Executive is the Prime Minister of the Country, the power vested with the President is advisory with the Union Council of Minister. The PM is also known as “Keystone of the Cabinet Arch.” The Prime Minister can be a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. He is the leader of the party who is in power and also the political head of the services. President is the head of the State, and Prime Minister is the head of the Government.
How is the Prime Minister Appointed?
Prime Minister is not elected directly by the People but by the President as per the provision of Article 75 of our Constitution. The leader of the political party which secures an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha shall be appointed as the Prime Minister. The tenure of the Prime Minister is for 5 years, but the person can stay in power as long as it holds a majority in the Lok Sabha, the tenure is not fixed by Constitution of India.
10 Powers of Prime Minister of India
Council of Ministers:
a) Council of ministers is a body of the government comprising of 60 to 70 ministers which includes cabinet ministers, ministers of state and deputy ministers. The functions of the council of ministers are decided by the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister.
b) The President often seeks advice from the Prime Minister with respect to the appointment of the Council of ministers. The president has no selective jurisdiction to drop off a name chosen by the Prime Minister.
c) As per Article 74(i) of the Indian Constitution, Prime Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers. No other council of ministers can function when the Prime Minister resigns or dies.
d) Prime Minister acts as a medium or connecting link between the Council of Ministers and the President as per the duty assigned under Article 78 of the Constitution which includes communication of all decision of the council of ministers to the President. and to provide any information which the president may call for the administration of such matters, etc.
e) Prime Minister has the power to ask a person to resign or ask the president to do so, in case of difference of opinion.
2. Cabinet meetings:
a) It is a smaller body of the government which has 15 to 20 members and is a part of the council of ministers. This body meets, exercises, transacts and directs the policy decisions and the functioning of the council of ministers.
b) The cabinet meetings and its proceedings are conducted by the Prime Minister. The business to be transacted is also decided by the PM, i.e., the PM is the chairman of the Cabinet.
3. Assignment of Portfolios:
a) The power to appoint and distribute portfolios is vested with the Prime Minister. It can also modify departments chosen to the ministers at any time.
b) The Prime Minister plays a supervisory role for the working and coordination among various departments.
c) Certain portfolios are generally not assigned, and the Prime Minister remains in charge of the same as Ministry of Planning, Department of Space, Department of Atomic Energy, Ministry of Personnel, Public grievances and Pensions.
4. Policy statement:
a) The Prime Minister plays a significant role in making all the policy statements. And has the power of both advisory and directory in nature.
b) In shaping, designing, and executing the foreign policy, a significant role is played by the PM.
c) In preparing the annual budget, the PM plays a pivotal role.
5. Advisory powers:
a) Amongst the advisory power, the Prime Minister can recommend and suggest to the president for the appointment of the following personnel: Chief Election Commissioner of India, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Chief Information Commissioner, information commissioner of India, Attorney General of India, solicitor general of India.
b) The PM has the power to decide the chief posts of the military personnel’s like Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff.
c) The PM is the chairperson of Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) also advice the Cabinet Secretary of India, however, such advise is non-binding in nature.
6. Leader of the Parliament:
a) The dates of the parliamentary meetings are decided by the PM.
b) The meetings are programmed by him.
c) Whether the houses will continue or dissolve will be decided by the PM.
d) Being in a special position having a special advantage, announcements of government policies and answers to the queries on departmental lines is done by the PM.
7. Foreign Relations:
Chief spokesperson of foreign relation is the Prime Minister. He is the key person in handling international relations. He is the speaker of the nation in all international conferences. For anything spoken by him outside the nation, are statements of policy for the nation.
8. Chairman of the planning commission:
a) The planning commission is a body whose chairman is the Prime Minister, which is an extra-constitutional body whose role is advising the center and the state on all activities. The economic policy decisions are majorly taken by the PM, and all the important decision is taken under the leadership of the PM.
b) The Prime Minister also heads, i.e., the de facto chairman of the National Development Council, NITI Aayog, Nuclear Command Authority, National Integration Council, National water resources council and inter-state council.
c) He is the head for disaster management team during the emergency at the political level.
The prime minister is the head of the government, the executive body and plays a crucial role in the functioning of government, the appointment of ministers, and formulating policies. It is vested with various powers like advisory, supervisory, etc. The effort of good governance and corruption-free ministers lies in the hands of the Prime Minister.