State government structure in India
The state government follows the parliamentary system of government like the central government. Some states have a Bicameral legislature and some states have a Unicameral legislature. The state executive or the state government may consist of:
- Chief Minister
- Council of Ministers.
These three executives form the basic structure of government in the states. Kindly check the Constitution of India (Articles 152-162).
The states having a Unicameral Legislature will have only a Legislative Assembly. Example: Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, etc has a Unicameral Legislature.
Unicameral states in India
India has 28 states and out of which 24 states have Unicameral Structure. They are:
- Arunachal Pradesh
- Himachal Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- West Bengal
Bicameral Legislature in India
Bicameral legislature in India meaning
This is just like centre, the state will have Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly.
In India, six states have a Bicameral Legislature. The bicameral legislature states are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.
In the states having Bicameral legislatures, the governor nominates one-sixth of members of the legislative council. Those are a person who has special knowledge or experience in literature, science, art, cooperative movement, or social service.
The governor also nominates a person from the Anglo-Indian community to the legislative assembly.
Special Provision Jammu and Kashmir
The Part VI of the Indian Constitution deals with the state government and once it does not apply to Jammu and Kashmir. It enjoyed a special status and had its own constitution by Article 370, until the abolition of Article 370.
Role of Governor
The Governor of the state appoints the leader of the majority party which won in the assembly election as Chief Minister. Also appoints the council of ministers as per the advice of the Chief Minister.
The council of ministers stays in office during the pleasure of the Chief Minister. The governor act on the advice of the chief minister.
Appointment by Governor
- Advocate General of the State – Every state has an advocate general. He/She is an official corresponding to the Attorney-General of India. Also has similar functions for the state. He/She is a person who is qualified to be a judge of a High Court.
- Chairman, and members of State Public Service Commission and influences the promotion and postings,
- appointment of judges of the Sub-Court.
When the governor finds the state government is not in compliance with the Constitution of India, the Governor may recommend the President to proclaim a constitutional emergency as per Article 356.
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He/She is the real executive of the state, head of the cabinet, and council of ministers. By Article 164(1), Governor appoints the Chief Minister of the state.
Powers and Functions
Chief Minister is a real executive head, has wide powers, and performs various functions. Important ones are:
Chief Minister has more powers in ministry making and can recommend the appointments of the minister. Also, designate them as ministers of state or deputy ministers and also as cabinet ministers. The Chief Minister also recommends their removal.
The Chief Minister has the power to preside over the meetings of the cabinet and makes policy decisions of the government. The Chief Minister is also the mediator between the governor and council of ministers in making all the cabinet-related decisions such as administrative and legislative proposals.
The CM scrutinizes all bills, resolutions, etc that are placed before the legislature.
And Most importantly, all the major appointments made by the governors are actually made on the advice of the Chief Minister.
The next important part of the state government is the State Council of Ministers.
State Council of Ministers
There shall be a council of ministers headed by the Chief Minister to aid and advise the governor in the exercise of his functions except when he is required by the constitution to act in his discretion.Article 163(1)
The state council of Ministers is formed similar to the council of ministers at the Union. The Leader of the majority party or coalition of parties is appointed as the chief minister by the governor. And other ministers in the council of ministers are appointed by the governor based on the advice of the chief minister.
Term of Office of the Council of Ministers
They hold the office during the pleasure of the Governor. But in reality, the governor acts on the advice of the chief minister. The council of ministers is individually responsible to the Chief Minister and the council of ministers is collectively responsible to the legislative assembly of the state.
This means the council of ministers shall speak in one voice.
The State Cabinet
The council of ministers is cabinet ministers, ministers of state, and deputy ministers. Of them, cabinet ministers constitute the state cabinet. The cabinet ministers of the state cabinet are the prominent ministers of the council of ministers and are headed by the Chief Minister.
The cabinet takes decisions on behalf of the council of ministers. And all the ministers are bound by the decisions of the cabinet.
State Executive structure consists of the Governor and the Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as its head.