Article 164 of the Indian Constitution outlines that the appointment of the Chief Minister is within the purview of the governor. Presently, there are 28 states and 9 Union Territories in India. The Chief Minister (CM) of each state receives a monthly remuneration for their services.
The Chief Minister, who holds the most authoritative position in the state government, serves as the principal figure. This individual assumes leadership over the State Council of Ministers and functions as the effective executive head of the state government. Exerting substantial influence, the Chief Minister holds a pivotal role within the state’s governance structure.
The specific methodology for the selection and designation of the Chief Minister is not explicitly specified in the Constitution. Article 164 of the Indian Constitution dictates that the Governor is responsible for appointing the Chief Minister, along with a Council of Ministers, to aid and provide counsel to the governor.
Following the state’s Legislative Assembly election, the process of establishing the government commences. The political party that secures the greatest number of votes in the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) is granted the prerogative to establish the government. Irrespective of the governor’s preferences, it is the governor’s duty to designate the leader of the majority party in the state legislative assembly as the Chief Minister.
The selection of ministers is based on the recommendations put forth by the Chief Minister. It is permissible for the Chief Minister to be a member of either house of the state legislature.
The position of the Chief Minister within a state mirrors the role of the Prime Minister at the national level. While the Chief Minister leads the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in the State Assembly, the Prime Minister assumes leadership over Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Lok Sabha.
Government officials in India receive compensation for their services. The President of India earns a monthly salary of Rs. 5 lakh, along with allowances. Conversely, the remuneration for Chief Ministers varies across states. Among them, the Chief Minister of Telangana commands the highest salary in comparison to their counterparts in other states.
List of salaries of CMs of all States
|S.N.||State||Salary (per month in Rupees)|
|3.||Uttar Pradesh||Rs.365,000 (US$5,300)|
|5.||Andhra Pradesh||Rs.335,000 (US$4,800)|
|7.||Himachal Pradesh||Rs.310,000 (US$4,500)|
|10.||Madhya Pradesh||Rs.255,000 (US$3,700)|
|15.||West Bengal||Rs.210,000 (US$3,000)|
|16.||Tamil Nadu||Rs.205,000 (US$3,000)|
|24.||Arunachal Pradesh||Rs.133,000 (US$1,900)|
Discrepancies in Chief Ministers’ Salaries in India
The table above illustrates a distinct disparity in the salaries of Chief Ministers across Indian states. While economically well-off states such as Telangana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh offer substantial salaries to their Chief Ministers, economically challenged states like those in the North East provide comparatively lower salaries. Strikingly, the top three states – Telangana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh – are paying Chief Ministers more than the salary granted to state governors.
Remuneration of Chief Ministers in India
When determining the compensation for Chief Ministers and other ministers compared to union government secretaries, several factors come into play:
- The salary is allocated by the state government that appoints the minister.
- The pay scale for ministers varies among states, leading to a unique salary structure.
- Variations in seniority, competence, cabinet composition, and other factors influence the pay scale of ministers across different states.
- Other considerations encompass the workload, responsibilities of ministers, and the existing pay scale of officers in various states.
Authority Over Chief Ministers’ Salaries
As per Article 164 of the Indian constitution, the remuneration for Chief Ministers and other ministers is determined by their respective state legislatures. In cases where the state legislature hasn’t yet decided on the salary, it is specified in the second schedule. This approach results in varying salaries from state to state. As of 2019, the highest legal salary for a Chief Minister is ₹410,000 (US$5,100) in Telangana, while the lowest is ₹105,500 (US$1,300) for the Chief Minister of Tripura.
Constitutional Provisions on Oath
Article 164 encompasses aspects such as the appointment, tenure, responsibilities, qualifications, oaths, salaries, and allowances of ministers. The governor administers the oath of office and secrecy to the Chief Minister prior to their assumption of duties. The Chief Minister pledges to:
- Uphold unwavering faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India.
- Safeguard India’s sovereignty and integrity.
- Faithfully and conscientiously fulfill the duties of the office.
- Ensure justice to all individuals in accordance with the Constitution and the law, devoid of bias.
The Chief Minister’s oath of secrecy entails a commitment not to disclose any matters brought before them or made known, except as required for fulfilling their ministerial duties.
Furthermore, a state’s council of ministers, inclusive of the Chief Minister, is restricted to a maximum of 15% of the total strength of the state’s legislative assembly, as established by the 91st Amendment Act of 2003. Nonetheless, the minimum number of ministers, including the Chief Minister, cannot fall below 12.