• India
  • Jun 05

PM Modi tenders resignation to President Murmu

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi tendered his resignation to President Droupadi Murmu on June 5. 

• The President has accepted the resignation and requested Modi and the Council of Ministers to continue till the new government assumes office.

• Earlier in the day, the Union Cabinet recommended the dissolution of the 17th Lok Sabha. The term of the current 17th Lok Sabha ends on June 16.

• PM Modi is poised to form the government for a third consecutive term with the BJP-led NDA getting a majority in the Lok Sabha

• While the NDA is comfortably above the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the BJP, which won 240 seats, has fallen short of the magic number for the first time since 2014 and is critically dependent on its allies for government formation.

• With support from BJP’s key allies N. Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Nitish Kumar's JD(U), which won 16 and 12 seats in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, respectively, and other alliance partners, the NDA crossed the halfway mark and bagged 293 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

• The Congress, which is part of the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), won 99 seats compared to 52 it won in 2019. The INDIA alliance won 233 seats.

The Union Executive

• The Union executive consists of the President, the Vice President and the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as the head to aid and advise the President.

• The President of India is the constitutional head of executive of the Union.

• The Office of the Vice President is the second highest constitutional office in India.

Appointment of the Prime Minister 

• The President appoints the Prime Minister. But the President cannot appoint anyone he/she likes. 

• Normally, a leader who has the support of the majority in the Lok Sabha would be appointed as Prime Minister and the question of discretion would not arise.

• In case no single party or alliance gets a majority, the President appoints the person most likely to secure a majority support. 

• The President has to use his/her own discretion in judging who really may have the support of the majority or who can actually form and run the government. 

• In the four parliamentary elections held from 1989 to 1998, no single party or coalition attained a majority in the Lok Sabha. These situations demanded Presidential intervention either in order to constitute governments or to grant a request for dissolution of Lok Sabha by a Prime Minister who could not prove majority in the House.

• The Prime Minister does not have a fixed tenure. The PM remains in power so long as he/she remains the leader of the majority party or coalition.

• If the Prime Minister loses the Lok Sabha’s confidence, he is required to resign, or the President can dismiss him. 

Council of Ministers

• Articles 74 and 75 deal with the Council of Ministers.

• Article 74(1) states that: “There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice.”

• Article 75(1) states that: “The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.”

• The Prime Minister decides who will be the ministers in the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister allocates ranks and portfolios to the ministers. 

• The Council of Ministers comprises ministers who are members of Cabinet, Ministers of State (independent charge), Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers.

• Depending upon the seniority and political importance, the ministers are given the ranks of Cabinet Minister, minister of State and deputy minister.

• Cabinet Ministers hold high-profile portfolios. It is these ministers who constitute the Cabinet, which has been described as “a wheel within a wheel”. 

• The total number of ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total number of members of the Lok Sabha.

• Before a minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.

• The ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.

• The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as Parliament may from time to time by law determine and, until Parliament so determines, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule.

• A minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of either House of Parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a minister.

• The Prime Minister presides over the meeting of the Council of Ministers.

• It is the duty of the Prime Minister to communicate to the President all decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to administration of affairs of the Union and proposals for legislation and information relating to them.

Collective responsibility

• The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the House of the People (Lok Sabha).

• Collective responsibility is based on the principle of the solidarity of the Cabinet. It implies that a vote of no confidence even against a single minister leads to the resignation of the entire Council of Ministers. It also indicates that if a minister does not agree with a policy or decision of the Cabinet, he or she must either accept the decision or resign. It is binding on all ministers to pursue or agree to a policy for which there is collective responsibility.

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