If there is anyone in India equivalent to the President of America, then it is the Prime Minister, because the real executive and the head of the state is the Prime Minister.

In this article, we will discuss the Prime Minister of India in a simple and easy way, and understand its various important aspects, So to understand this article well, definitely read till the end and also read other executives as well.

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Prime Minister of India Overview

This article is a part of the Articles on the Federal Executive. There are mainly 5 federal executives- (1) President (2) Vice President (3) Prime Minister (4) Cabinet (5) Attorney General. In this article we are going to understand the Prime Minister.

According to the Indian Constitution, the Prime Minister is the head of the Union Council of Ministers and the chief advisor to the President. Along with this, he is the head of the executive of the Government of India and is  accountable to  the Parliament for the work of the government.

We know that India is a country with a parliamentary system and also a republic, where the post of Head of State and Head of Government has been kept completely divided. Theoretically the President is the head of the nation because all the powers of governance are vested in the President. But in reality the Constitution gives the democratically elected Prime Minister the power to exercise all the executive powers of the President.

Since the real powers are with the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister is also the head of the government and he is also elected, that is why the Prime Minister is the real executive. It is also called De Facto Executive . Whereas the President has only nominal executive powers that is why it is called De Jure Executive .

constitutional provision

The President has been discussed in most of the articles while the Prime Minister has been included in just a few articles. In fact, in practical terms, the people do not directly choose the Prime Minister, they choose the MPs. Out of that, those who are the MPs of the majority party choose their leader who becomes the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister chooses the Council of Ministers, perhaps this is one of the reasons why the Prime Minister has not got much Article.

The main articles related to the Prime Minister of India are Article 74 and Article 75. Let us understand this;

Article 74 – Council of ministers to aid and advise the President

There are 2 clauses in this article which are as follows-

(1) There shall be a Council of Ministers to be headed by the Prime Minister to aid and advise the President.

Two things are known from here, first that there will be a Council of Ministers, which will be headed by the Prime Minister, secondly, they will be there to give advice to the President.

Although it is written in the constitution that the President can also ask for reconsideration of the advice given by the Council of Ministers, but the advice given after the reconsideration will have to be accepted by the President.

But what is more interesting is that it is written in clause 2 of this article that the question shall not be inquired into in any court as to whether the ministers gave any advice to the President, and if so what.

Overall, this means that whether the Council of Ministers advises the President or not does not matter as it is not subject to inquiry.

Article 75 – Other provisions as to ministers

There are 6 clauses in this article, which are as follows-

(1) 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.

Through the 91st Constitutional Amendment 2003, a provision was added to it that the total number of ministers including the Prime Minister in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed 15 percent of the total number of members of the Lok Sabha. That is, only about 80-81 members can be part of the Council of Ministers.

(2) The Ministers shall hold their office during the pleasure of the President, that is to say, the President may remove the Ministers from his office if he so desires, but how this is further understood;

(3) The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.

(4) Before a minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him an oath of secrecy.

(5) A Minister who is not a member of either House of Parliament for any period of six consecutive months, shall cease to be a Minister on the expiration of that period.

(6) The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as Parliament may, by law, determine from time to time.

Let us understand these provisions;

Appointment of Prime Minister

No special arrangement has been given in the constitution of how the Prime Minister will be appointed, only Article 75 states that the Prime Minister will be appointed by the President and other ministers will also be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. Now the question is, who can the President appoint as the Prime Minister?

Since we go according to the parliamentary system and only the leader of the party with absolute majority becomes the Prime Minister, so the President does not have the problem of appointing whom to the post of Prime Minister.

Even if one party does not get an absolute majority, then the arrangement of the coalition settles the matter. Generally, if no party is in a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, then the President is free to use his discretion in the appointment of the Prime Minister. In this situation the President usually appoints the leader of the largest party or coalition as the Prime Minister and asks him to take a vote of confidence in the House within 1 month. Political parties do some gimmicks and win the trust vote.

This discretion was first exercised by the President in 1979, when the then President Neelam Sanjivan Reddy appointed Charan Singh (who was the leader of a coalition) as prime minister after the collapse of the Janata Party government led by Morarji Desai. And he was given one month’s time to prove his majority, although before that this arrangement was not clear. The Delhi High Court clarified this arrangement in 1980.

Earlier the system was that the Prime Minister could not be appointed by the President until the majority was proved, but in 1980, the Delhi High Court said that it is not necessary that a person should prove his majority in the Lok Sabha before being appointed as the Prime Minister.  The President should first appoint the Prime Minister and then ask him to prove his majority in the Lok Sabha within a reasonable time frame.

For example, Charan Singh 1979, V.P. Singh 1989, Chandrashekhar 1990, PV Narasimha Rao 1991, Atal Bihari Vajpayee 1996, H.D. Deve Gowda 1996 I.k. Gujral 1997 and again Atal Bihari Vajpayee 1998; That’s how the Prime Minister was appointed.

Some facts related to Prime Minister

In 1997, the Supreme Court gave a decision that a person who is not a member of either house can be appointed Prime Minister for 6 months. However, during this period he will have to become a member of either House of Parliament, otherwise he will not continue in the office of Prime Minister. This simply means that even if a person is not a member of any house, he can still become the Prime Minister for at least 6 months.

According to the Constitution, the Prime Minister can be a member of either of the two Houses of Parliament. For example Indira Gandhi in 1966, Deve Gowda in 1996 and Manmohan Singh in 2004 and 2009 were members of the Rajya Sabha.

Oath of Prime Minister of India

Under Article 75(4) , the President administers the oath of office and secrecy to the Prime Minister before he takes office.

While taking the oath of office , the Prime Minister says that –

I take such an oath to God that I will have true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India established by law, I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, I will faithfully and with a pure conscience fulfill the duties of my office as a Minister of the Union. I will do justice to all kinds of people without fear or favour, affection or malice, according to the Constitution and the law.

Prime Minister as oath of secrecy says – I swear by God that the matter which shall be brought to my consideration or shall be known to me, shall be communicated directly or indirectly to any person or persons except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as such Minister. I will not inform or disclose. ,

Fact – Remember here that in addition to the two oaths mentioned above, the Prime Minister also takes two other oaths – one while filing nomination papers to contest elections and the other as a member of the House (which is taken before the presiding officer). Altogether the Prime Minister or Minister takes a total of four types of oaths, which are mentioned in Schedule 3 of the Constitution .

Term of Prime Minister of India

By the way, the tenure of the Prime Minister is 5 years, if any one party has an absolute majority, then 5 years also goes on. If there is no absolute majority, then his term is not fixed and since he continues in his office during the pleasure of the President, the President can remove him from his office if he wants.

However, this does not mean that the President can remove the Prime Minister from his office at any time. As long as the Prime Minister has a majority in the Lok Sabha, the President cannot dismiss him. But if he loses his vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha, he will have to resign from his office, if he does not resign, then the President can dismiss him.

Remember here that no fixed tenure has been fixed for the post of Prime Minister, rather he can remain Prime Minister for an indefinite period that too as long as he enjoys the confidence of the House.

Powers and Functions of Prime Minister

Executive Powers – As we have also read above that the real executive powers are with the Prime Minister which he uses as per his wish.

The Prime Minister can add, remove or suspend any person in his cabinet. That is to say that the entire Council of Ministers is of the choice of the Prime Minister.

The allocation of the ministry or the cabinet meeting is all under the control of the Prime Minister. He presides over the cabinet and gives his approval to the desired subject.

The Prime Minister acts as a bridge between the Council of Ministers and the President, in this way the Prime Minister transmits all the necessary information and activities to the President from time to time.

Apart from this, the Prime Minister advises the President regarding the appointment of various officers such as the Attorney General of India, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission and its members and others. Or in other words, appointments are made to these posts by their choice.

He is the chairman of NITI Aayog, National Development Council, National Integration Council, Inter-State Council and National Water Resources Council.

He plays an important role in shaping the foreign policy of the nation. He meets with the Heads of State of other countries and signs various types of Memorandum of Understanding.

He is not only the leader of the ruling party but he is also the chief spokesperson of the central government. Being the leader of the country, he meets different sections of people from different states and receives memorandums regarding their problems.

He is the head of disaster management at the political level during the emergency, besides he is also the political head of the armies, etc.

Powers of the Prime Minister as the head of the Council of Ministers

1. He recommends the members of his party to the President for appointment as ministers. The President can appoint only those persons as ministers who are recommended by the Prime Minister.

2. He allocates various ministries to the ministers and can also reshuffle them. Along with this, he can advise a minister to resign or the President to dismiss him.

3. He presides over the meeting of the Council of Ministers and influences its decisions. Along with this, he controls, directs and coordinates the activities of all the ministers.

4. He can dismiss the entire Council of Ministers by resigning from his post. Since the Prime Minister is the head of the Council of Ministers, so when the Prime Minister resigns or dies, the Council of Ministers is dissolved i.e. the government falls.

On the other hand, the government does not fall on the death or resignation of any other minister, but only one minister’s seat is vacant, the Prime Minister can sit there whomever he wants.

Functions of the Prime Minister in relation to the President

We saw in the Presidential article that the Prime Minister does all the work in the name of the President. Since the Prime Minister is the main link of communication between the President and the Council of Ministers. Therefore , according to article 78 , it is his duty to:-

1. Communicate to the President all the decisions of the Council of Ministers regarding the administration of the Union executive and the proposals for legislation. It simply means that all the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers related to administration and law should also be told to the President.

2. The Prime Minister should give whatever information the President asks for, regarding the administration of the Union executive and the legislative proposals, and

3. Any matter on which a decision has been taken by a Minister but the matter has not been considered by the Council of Ministers, in such a situation, the Prime Minister shall, when required by the President, place the same before the Council of Ministers for consideration.

Powers of the Prime Minister with respect to Parliament

The Prime Minister is the leader of the lower house. In this regard he exercises the following powers.

1. He advises the President to summon and prorogue the session of Parliament.
2. He can at any time recommend the dissolution of the Lok Sabha to the President.
3. He announces the policies of the Government on the Table of the House.

In this way, the Prime Minister plays a very important role in the political-administrative system of the country.


” Under our Constitution, if an executive is compared to the President of America, he is the Prime Minister, not the President. “

— Dr. B R Ambedkar

list of prime ministers of india

Jawaharlal NehruAugust 15, 1947 – May 27, 1964
Gulzari Lal Nanda (Acting)May 27, 1964 – June 9, 1964
Lal Bahadur ShastriJune 09, 1964 – January 11, 1966
Gulzari Lal Nanda (Acting)January 11, 1966 – January 24, 1966
Indira GandhiJanuary 24, 1966 – March 24, 1977
Morarji DesaiMarch 24, 1977 – July 28, 1979
Charan SinghJuly 28, 1979 – January 14, 1980
Indira GandhiJanuary 14, 1980 – October 31, 1984
Rajiv GandhiOctober 31, 1984 – December 01, 1989
Vishwanath Pratap SinghDecember 02, 1989 – November 10, 1990
chandrashekharNovember 10, 1990 – June 21, 1991
P. V. Narasimha RaoJune 21, 1991 – May 16, 1996
Atal Bihari VajpayeeMay 16, 1996 – June 01, 1996
HD Deve GowdaJune 01, 1996 – April 21, 1997
IK GujralApril 21, 1997 – March 18, 1998
Atal Bihari VajpayeeMarch 19, 1998 – October 13, 1999
Atal Bihari VajpayeeOctober 13, 1999 – May 22, 2004
Dr. Manmohan SinghMay 22, 2004 – May 26, 2014
Narendra ModiMay 26, 2014 – to the present
Prime Minister of India

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