State Executive

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Part VI of the Constitution containing Articles 153 to 167 deals with the government in the States. The state executive consists of the Governor, the Chief Minister, the Council of Minister and the Advocate General of the state.

# Governor


  • The Governor is the constitutional head of the State Government.
  • He plays a twofold function as the constitutional head of the State Government and as a link between the Centre and the state government.
  • The Governor of a State is appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
  • Articles 153 says that three should be a Governor for each state. But under the 7th Amendment Act, 1956, the same person can be appointed as Governor of one or more States.
  • Qualifications: In order to be appointed as Governor, a person (Article 157)
    • Must be a citizen of India;
    • Must have completed the age of 35 years.
    • In addition, three are two conventions that have come to develop with regard to appointment of the Governor.
      • Must not belong to the state where he is appointed and
      • Consult the Chief Minister of the state where to be appointed
    • Article 156 – Term of Office
      • Normally holds office for five year but can be removed at any time before that by the President.
      • Thus, Governors remain in office during the pleasure of the President.
    • The Governor may resign at any time by writing to the President.

Conditions of Office

  • He cannot be a member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. If he has been a member of either of the house, he should vacate the seat on his first day as Governor in the office.
  • He should not hold any office of profit.
  • For his residence, Raj Bhavan is provided to him without the payment of rent.
  • Parliament decides his emoluments, allowances and privileges.
  • When a governor is responsible for two or more states, the emoluments and allowances payable to him are shared by the states in such proportion as the President may determine.
  • Parliament cannot diminish his emoluments and allowances during his term of office.
  • He is given immunity from any criminal proceedings, even in respect of his personal acts
  • Arrest or imprisonment of Governor cannot take place. Only civil proceedings can be initiated for his personal acts that too after giving two months’ of prior notice.

Powers and Functions of Governor

Executive Powers

  • Every executive action of the state government is taken in his name.
  • How an order that has been taken up his name is to be authenticated, the rules for the same can be specified by the Governor.
  • He may/may not make rules to simplify the transaction of business of the state government.
  • Chief Ministers and other ministers of the states are appointed by him.
  • He appoints the advocate general of states and determines their remuneration
  • He appoints the following people:
    • State Election Commissioner
    • Chairman and Members of the State Public Service Commission
    • Vice-Chancellors of the universities in the state
  • A constitutional emergency in the state is recommended to the President by him.
  • The governor enjoys extensive executive powers as an agent of the President during the President’s rule in the state.
  • It is his responsibility to appoint Tribal Welfare Minister in the states of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.

Legislative Powers

  • Article 174 – Power to prorogue the state legislature and dissolve the state legislative assemblies
  • Article 176 – He addresses the state legislature at the first session of every year
  • If any bill is pending in the state legislature, Governor may/may not send a bill to the state legislature concerning the same
  • If the speaker of the legislative assembly is absent and same is Deputy Speaker, then Governor appoints a person to preside over the session.
  • Governor appoints 1/6th of the total members of the legislative council from the fields of – Literature, Science, Art, Cooperative Movement and Social Service.
  • Governor nominates 1 member in state legislative assembly from Anglo-Indian Community.
  • He can consult Election Commission for the disqualification of members
  • Article 200 – With respect to the bill introduced in the state legislature, he can:
    • Give his assent
    • Withhold his assent
    • Return the bill
    • Article 201 – Reserve the bill for the President’s consideration (In instances where the bill introduced in the state legislature endangers the position of state High Court).
Governor can reserve the bill for the President’s consideration in the following cases When provisions mentioned in the bill:

  • Violates the constitution (Ultra-Vires)
  • Oppose Directive Principles of State Policy
  •  Hinders the larger interests of the country
  • Concern the national importance
  • Mention the acquisition of property that is dealt with Article 31A in the constitution.
  • Article 213 – An ordinance can be promulgated by him when either the Legislative Assembly or Council (Unicameral/Bicameral) are not in session.
  • The following reports are laid by him:
    • State Finance Commission
    • State Public Service Commission
    • Comptroller and Auditor General (Concerning the state finance)

Financial Powers

  • He looks over the state budget being laid in the state legislature
  • His recommendation is a prerequisite for the introduction of money bill in the state legislature
  • He recommends for the demand for grants which otherwise cannot be given
  • Contingency Fund of State is under him and he makes advances out that to meet unforeseen expenditure
  • State Finance Commission is constituted every five years by him. (Read about Finance Commission of India in the linked article.)

Judicial Powers

  • President consults the Governor while appointing judges of High Court
  • In consultation with state High Court, Governor makes appointments, postings and promotions of the district judges
  • In consultation with the state high court and state public service commission, he also appoints persons to the judicial services.

Pardoning Power (ARTICLE 161)

  • Power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted in any offence against a state law.

  • The scope of the pardoning power of the President under Article 72 is wider than the pardoning power of the Governor under Article 161. The power differs in the following two ways:
  • The power of the President to grant pardon extends in cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial but Article 161 does not provide any such power to the Governor.
  • The President can grant pardon in all cases where the sentence given is sentence of death but pardoning power of Governor does not extend to death sentence cases.

Constitutional Discretion of Governor

Unlike the President of India, the Governor is conferred with explicit constitutional power to act at his own discretion in the following instances:

  • When they have to reserve the bill for the consideration of the President of India, Governors can decide on their own without the advice of the Council of Ministers
  • When he has to recommend for the President’s rule in the state, he can act at his own discretion
  • When he is given an additional charge as the administrator of the Union Territory, he can take actions at his own discretion
  • When he has to determine the amount payable by the Government of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to an autonomous Tribal District Council as royalty accruing from licenses for mineral exploration
  • When he calls upon the Chief Minister to seek information regarding administrative and legislative affairs

# Chief Minister


The Governor is a state’s de jure head, but de facto executive authority rests with the Chief Minister. So, Chief Minister is the real executive of the Government.

  • Article 164 of the Constitution says that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the governor.
  • Constitution does not specifically mention about the qualification to be appointed as Chief Minister (CM).
  • He advises the Governor to appoint any person as a minister. It is only according to the advice of CM the Governor appoints ministers.
  • Allocation and reshuffling of portfolios among ministers.
  • In case of difference of opinion; he can ask minister to resign.
  • Directs, guides and controls activities of all the ministers.
  • He is the leader of the MLAs elected by the general public of the state.
  • If the Chief Minister resigns then full cabinet has to resign.

Article 167 – The Chief Minister acts as a link between Governor and state council of ministers. The functions with respect to the Governor are as follows:

  • CM has to communicate to the Governor all the decisions of the council of ministers relating to the administration of the states.
  • Whenever the Governor calls for any information relating to the decisions taken or regarding the administration, the CM has to provide him the same
  • The Governor can ask for consideration of council of ministers when a decision has been taken without the consideration of the cabinet.
  • CM advises Governor regarding the appointment of important officials like Attorney General, State Public Service Commission (Chairman and Members), and State Election Commission etc.

With Respect to State Legislature

  • All the policies are announced by him on the floor of the house.
  • He recommends dissolution of legislative assembly to the Governor.
  • He advises the Governor regarding summoning, proroguing the sessions of State Legislative Assembly from time to time.

Other Functions

  • At the ground level he is the authority to be in contact with the people regularly and know about their problems so as to bring about policies on the floor of the assembly.
  • He acts as the chairman of State Planning Commission.
  • He is the vice chairman of concerned zonal council in rotation for a period of one year.
  • During emergencies he acts as the crisis manager in the state.
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