Prime Minister vs Chief Minister
India has a parliamentary system of democracy and is a union of states with bicameral legislatures both at the centre and state levels. While the government is headed by the prime minister at the center, states are governed by chief ministers. There are many similarities in the roles and functions of prime minister and chief ministers. However, there are differences that will be harped upon in this article.
While President is the constitutional head at the centre who appoints the prime minister, it is the prime minister who has the real executive powers. Prime minister governs the country along with a council of ministers that forms the cabinet. At the state level, it is the governor who is the constitutional head while the real executive powers lie in the hands of the chi9ef minister who is appointed by the governor.
While the council of ministers at the center is responsible collectively to the lower house of parliament, the cabinet at the state level is responsible to the lower house of the legislature called the Vidhan Sabha.
Indian constitution has clearly demarcated the subjects so that some fall under center’s administration while others are prerogative of state governments. There are some subjects where both the center and the state government can issue directives. This makes it easy for both the prime minister and the chief ministers as they can look after the subjects that belong to them.
In short, powers and responsibilities of a state chief minister are similar to that of the prime minister. Chief Minister is not just the leader of his party; he is also the leader of the state and has to administer the state according to the agenda set by his party which is in majority. He has to negotiate with the center on all policies of the central government to see that resources are allocated to his state in a fair and just manner. He maintains cordial relations with the prime minister as he needs help and assistance from the center for all developmental projects being carried out in the state.
While it is the prime minister who has to meet and receive heads of foreign countries, chief minister receives the prime minister and the president when they arrive in his state. Prime minister looks after all the states while a chief minister has only his state as his priority. Prime minister can get article 356 of the constitution imposed in a state on recommendations of the president. This has the effect of dissolving the state legislature invoking president’s rule. No such power is vested in a chief minister.
Prime Minister vs. Chief Minister
• Prime minister is the head of the government at the central level while it is chief minister who is at the helm of affairs in a state
• Prime minister looks after needs of all states while a chief minister has to look after the development of his state only.
• Prime minister is naturally more powerful than a chief minister