The Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister is not only a leader of the Parliament but also the leader of the nation. The President is the constitutional head of the State, but the real power to govern the country is vested in the hands of the Prime Minister. The executive powers of the President are exercised by the Council of Ministers which is headed by the PM.
The Prime Minister has a special status both in the Government and in the Parliament which makes him/her the most powerful functionary in India.
Appointment of the Prime Minister:
- The Prime Minister is appointed by the President; Normally the President invites the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha to form the government.
- In case no single party gets a clear majority, the President invites the individual who has the support of two or more parties which can prove majority on the floor of the lower house.
- The Prime Minister is usually a member of the Lok Sabha. However, there have been instances where a member of the Rajya Sabha was appointed as the Prime Minister.
- The Prime Minister has the power to decide the portfolios of the Ministers and can change their portfolios at his will or even ask for their resignation. The Prime Minister presides over the meetings of the Cabinet.
The term of the Prime Minister:
Once appointed, the Prime Minister holds the office for a period of 5 years if he has the support of the majority of members of Lok Sabha. If he loses the majority support of the members in the Lok Sabha, he has to resign & give his resignation letter to the President.
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Powers and Functions of the Prime Minister:
- The Prime Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers & acts as the most powerful functionary of the Union Government.
- He appoints the Council of Ministers to be sworn in by the President. They remain ministers as long as they enjoy the confidence of the Prime Minister.
- The Prime Minister decides portfolios to be given to the Ministers which he can change whenever he desires.
- The Prime Minister presides over the meetings which are held of the Cabinet & is the head of the Cabinet.
- Prime Minister serves as the link between the President and the Cabinet.
- The decisions of the Cabinet are conveyed to the President by the Prime Minister. He keeps the President informed of all the policies and decisions taken by the Government.
- All important appointments in various departments are made by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
- The President summons and prorogues the session of the Parliament and even dissolves the Lok Sabha on the advice of the Prime Minister.
- The Prime Minister is the “principal spokesman” and defender of the policies of the Government in the Parliament. When any Minister is unable to defend his/her actions properly, the Prime Minister comes to the help of that Minister both inside and outside the Parliament.
- The Prime Minister is the leader of the nation & the whole nation looks to his/her for guidance. It is the Prime Minister who seeks the mandate of people.
- The Prime Minister plays an important role in the formulation of domestic and foreign policies & all international agreements and treaties with are signed with the other countries are done with the approval of the Prime Minister.
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