Council of Ministers in States
In a Parliamentary form of Government, the council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister is the executive authority. The states under the Indian Constitution are organised on the pattern as that of the centre. The Council of Ministers in the state is a replica of the Council of Ministers at the centre. They resemble in formation, function and role in the administration. The Constitution provides a broad and general view of the principles of parliamentary System of Government in Article 163 and Article 164. Council of Ministers are there to aid and advise the Governor of the State in various matters.
Constitutional Provisions (Article 163)
Council of Ministers to Aid and Advise Governor
According to the article, there shall be Council of Ministers with Chief Ministers as the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise his function in his discretion.
Other Provisions as to Ministers
Article 164(1) holds that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Ministers and the ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor. As per Article 164(2), the Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.
According to Article 164(4), a minister, who for any period of 6 consecutive months is not a member of the Legislature of the State shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a minister. According to Article 164(5), the salaries and allowances of ministers shall be such as the legislature of the state may from time to time by law determine and until the legislature of the state determines, shall be as specified in the second Schedule. The Constitution (91st Amendment) Act, 2003 has inserted Clauses (1A) and 1(B) in Article 164. The new clause (1A) has done away with jumbo-size ministers. It provides that the size of the Council of Ministers in the State shall not exceed 15% of the assembly’s total strength, but, the number of ministers including Chief Ministers shall not be less than 12 members.
The new Clause (1B) provides that a member disqualified under the anti-defection law, shall not be appointed as a minister for the duration of the remaining term of the existing legislature or until next fresh election, whichever is earlier. A Minister, who is a member of one house of the State Legislature, has the Right to speak and to take part in the proceeding of the other house. But, he can vote only in the house of which he is a member.
Composition of Council of Ministers
The size of the council of Ministers in any state is determined by the chief ministers as per the exigencies of the time. The Council of Ministers consists of two categories of ministers i.e. Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers. The Cabinet Ministers head the important department of the State Government like home, education, finance, agriculture etc. They are Members of the Cabinet, attend its meeting and plays an important role in deciding policies.
Oath and Salary of Ministers
The Minister swears to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India and to upload the sovereignty and integrity of India, to faithfully and conscientiously discharge the duties of his office and also to do right to all manner of people in accordance with the constitution and the law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. The salaries and allowances of ministers are determined by the State Legislature from time to time. A minister gets the salary and allowances, which are payable to a member of the State Legislature.