Chief Minister Qualities and Eligibility and Resignation
According to the Constitution of India, the Governor is a state’s head, but the executive authority rests with the chief minister. Following elections to the State Legislative Assembly in a state, the state’s governor usually invites the party with a majority of seats to form the government. The governor appoints and swears in the chief minister, whose Council of Ministers are collectively responsible to the assembly. Based on the Westminster system, given that he retains the confidence of the assembly, the chief minister’s term can last for the length of the assembly’s life maximum of five years except in Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly where it is maximum of 6 years. There are no limits to the number of terms that the chief minister can serve. A chief minister heads a state government’s council of ministers and can be deputed in that role by a deputy chief minister.
Eligibility of Chief Minister
The Constitution of India sets the principle qualifications one must meet to be eligible to the office of the CM. A chief minister must be:
- Must be citizen of India.
- should be a member of the state legislature. If a person is elected as CM who is not a member of the legislature, then he/she must take sign from governor.
- and 25 years of age or above.
An individual who is not a member of the legislature can be considered as the chief minister provided he/she gets himself/herself elected to the State Legislature within six months from the date of their appointment. Failing which, he/she would cease to be the CM.
The CM is elected through a majority in the state legislative assembly. This is procedure established by the vote of confidence in the legislative assembly, as suggested by the governor of the state who is the appointing authority. They are elected for five years. The CM shall hold office during the pleasure of the governor.
Since, according to the constitution, the CM is appointed by the governor, the swearing in is done before the governor of the state.
The oath of office.
I, <Name of Chief Minister>, do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, that I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge my duties as a Minister for the State of <Name of the State> and that I will do right to all manner of people in accordance with the Constitution and the law without fear or favor, affection or ill-will.
In the event of a CM’s resignation, which conventionally occurs after an election or during a phase of assembly transition, the outgoing minister holds the informal title of “caretaker” chief minister until the Governor either appoints a new CM or dissolves the assembly. Since the post is not constitutionally defined, the caretaker CM enjoys all the powers a regular CM possesses, but is expected not to make any major policy decisions during his/her short tenure as caretaker.