Parliament – Sessions, Procedures, Motions, Committees etc

Significance of Deputy CM in Indian Politics

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Deputy CM

Mains level : Read the attached story

Deputy CM

Introduction

  • Deputy Chief Ministers (Deputy CMs) have become prominent figures in Indian politics, serving as political compromises and often following coalition governments or a lack of single-party dominance.
  • The role and prevalence of Deputy CMs vary across states and regions.

Role of Deputy CM

  • Political Compromise: Deputy CMs are appointed to strike a political compromise, especially in coalition governments or when no single leader commands undisputed authority.
  • Representation: Deputy CMs represent various regions, communities, or interest groups within a state, promoting inclusivity.
  • Constitutional Basis: The Constitution does not explicitly mention the position of Deputy CM; however, it is understood to be equivalent in rank to a Cabinet Minister.
  1. Article 163(1): This article outlines the existence of a Council of Ministers in each state, with the Chief Minister at its head, to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions. While it doesn’t mention Deputy CMs, they are a part of the Council of Ministers, akin to Cabinet Ministers.
  2. Article 164(1): This article states that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor, and other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. It establishes the authority of the Chief Minister in appointing Deputy CMs.

Prevalence of Deputy Chief Ministers

  • Growing Prominence: Deputy CMs are increasingly common in Indian states, with four of the five states that went to polls in November 2021 having Deputy CMs.
  • National Presence: Most major states, except Tamil Nadu and Kerala, have the position of Deputy CM.
  • Varied Contexts: States like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Haryana have multiple Deputy CMs, often reflecting coalition governments or diverse political considerations.

Historical Overview

  • Pioneering Deputy CM: Anugrah Narayan Sinha was one of the earliest Deputy CMs in India, representing Bihar.
  • Post-1967 Increase: The prevalence of Deputy CMs expanded after the decline of Congress’s dominance in national politics in 1967.
  • Examples: States like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana have a history of Deputy CMs from various political backgrounds.

Deputy Prime Ministers

  • Higher Position: India has also seen Deputy Prime Ministers, who held positions of significance at the national level.
  • Notable Figures: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, Chaudhary Devi Lal, and Lal Krishna Advani have served as Deputy Prime Ministers.
  • Constitutional Aspects: The role of the Deputy Prime Minister has been debated in court, with the Supreme Court emphasizing that it does not confer additional powers on the Deputy Prime Minister.

Conclusion

  • Deputy Chief Ministers play a vital role in Indian politics, facilitating political stability and representation.
  • Their prevalence has increased over the years, and they continue to hold significant positions in state governments.

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