- Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
PRESIDENT APPOINTS GOVERNORS
What to study?
For Prelims: Constitutional provisions related to the office of governor.
For Mains: Significance and issues associated with the office of governor- is he merely a rubber stamp, comparison of powers with the President and frequent removals.
Context: By exercising his authority under Article 156 of the constitution, President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed new Governors for five states.
Governors of States in India:
The nominal head of a state, unlike the Chief Minister who is the real head of a state in India.
According to 7th Constitutional Amendment Act 1956, the same person can be the Governor of two or more states.
Appointment: The governors and lieutenant-governors are appointed by the president.
Removal: The term of governor’s office is normally 5 years but it can be terminated earlier by: Dismissal by the president on the advice of the prime minister of the country, at whose pleasure the governor holds office or Resignation by the governor. Thus, the term is subject to pleasure of the president.
There is no provision of impeachment, as it happens for the president.
Some discretionary powers are as follows:
- Can dissolve the legislative assembly if the chief minister advices him to do following a vote of no confidence. Following which, it is up to the Governor what he/ she would like to do.
- Can recommend the president about the failure of the constitutional machinery in the state.
- Can reserve a bill passed by the state legislature for president’s assent.
- Can appoint anybody as chief minister If there is no political party with a clear-cut majority in the assembly.
- Determines 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.
- Can seek information from the chief minister with regard to the administrative and legislative matters of the state.
- Can refuse to sign to an ordinary bill passed by the state legislature.
Problem with constitutional design:
The governor is merely appointed by the president on the advice of the Central government.
Unlike the president, a governor does not have a fixed term. He/she holds office at the pleasure of the ruling party in the centre.
Both the manner of the appointment and the uncertainty of tenure conspire to make the incumbent an object of the Central government in politically charged circumstances.