Powers and Functions of Indian Prime Minister
Following are the important role, powers and function of Indian Prime Minister
Chief Advisor of the President
The Prime Minister is chief confidential adviser of the President. The Indian constitution requires him to communicate to the President all the decisions of the cabinet about the administration and to furnish such information about his policies as the President may require from him. He is a link between the President and the Cabinet as well as the President and the Parliament. The President has the right to be informed and to be consulted by him about any policy or proposal for legislation. In times of emergency, he becomes the advisers of the President. Thus in times of peace as well as war and emergency, the Prime Minister is the right hand man of the President.
Is the President bound to accept the advice, of the Prime Minister?
The constitution does not give a clear-cut answer. It simply says that the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, will aid and advise the President in the exercise of his functions and that the Council of Ministers shall be responsible to the House of the People. It means that the advice of the Prime Minister should be accepted by the President, otherwise he will not fulfill his duties towards Parliament: and will resign. The President may not be able to find other man to perform the duties of a Prime Minister and shall be compelled to continue the former one. The only thing the President can do is to scare the Prime Minister of the defects and dangers of the policy or decisions communicated to him and yet leave him “to follow the policies, his cabinet has adopted, for responsibility is his or their only.
Leader of the Cabinet
The constitution recognizes that the Council of Ministers will be headed by the Prime Minister and that it will be constituted by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. Thus it recognizes the primacy or leadership of the Cabinet. Like the British Prime Minister, the Indian Prime Minister is the centerpiece of the Cabinet machine. He chooses his Cabinet Ministers. Through his choice is fairly wide and free he is said to be the first among equals but in reality he is much more than that. There is free discussion at the cabinet meetings but the final word lies with him. If a Minister does not accept the Prime Minister’s policy he has to resign.
He distributes portfolios among his colleagues and can shuffle his ministry as he likes. Nevertheless he is not a dictator. He cannot even treat his colleagues as the US President treats his Secretaries. They are his colleagues and not; his nominees. He is their leader, not their boss. He cannot afford to be discourteous to them. In short his position is central but not predominant. Like the British Prime Minister he is central to the’ formation of the Cabinet, central to its life and central to its demise.
Leader of the House
The Prime Minister is also the leader of the majority party in the Lok Sabha and is its leader as well. He explains and defend polices, actions and decisions of the government in it and makes important announcements-on the floor of the House. His speeches in the House are listened toy with great interest (both in the House and in the country) He can advise the President to dissolve the House of People, if he loses support in it. The Prime Minister may hold a portfolio in the government, such as the ministry of foreign affairs or defense, if he so likes.
The Indian Prime Minister makes all important appointments in the government of the country: The appointment of secretaries of the departments; Governors, Chief Commissioners, Ambassadors are made on his recommendation.