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Role of Governor

Alike the centre in India, the state also has a bit of governance system. The head of the state is the governor and the executive power of the state is vested in him. He is appointed by the president of India who holds the office during the pleasure of the president. Any citizen of India who is more than 35 years of age can be appointed as a governor. He cannot hold any office of profit. He should not be a member of the legislature of the Union or the State (Article 168).

There are two types of governor in India. The Governors that exist in states and Lieutenant-Governors/Administrators that exist in Union Territories and in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.


Controversy over the appointment of Governor:

Interpreters and politicians of India's politics have been opposing the system of appointment of Governor.They say that the Governor is appointed by the President, which is detrimental to the states.The Governor will act only as an agent of the Central Government.
Former Kerala Chief Minister E.M.Namboodiripad said that the governor nominated by the centre will act as loyal officer of the central government. He emphasised that election system is necessary if we want to protect democracy.
Sardar Patel stated that keeping in view the dignity of this post, it is necessary that the governor should hold elections on the basis of adult suffrage.
B.R.Ambedkar asserted that the governor does not have any work to be executes on the basis of discretion or personal decisions and thus the election system will not be profitable in terms of time, convenience and money.

Powers of Governor

The Governor of the state shall possess executive, legislative, financial and judicial powers. But he does not possess diplomatic, military or emergency powers which President of India has.

Executive Powers:

These powers are exercised by the council of ministers in the name of Governor. Hence Governor is only nominal head and council of ministers is the real executive.
He is the constitutional head of the state who appoints the leader of majority party as chief minister. He can seek any information from the chief minister. He appoints the advocate general, chairman and members of the respective state public commission.
He can recommend the imposition of constitutional emergency in a state to the President. During the period of President’s rule in a state, the governor enjoys extensive executive powers as an agent of the President.

2. Legislative Powers:

He is part of state legislative.
No bill can become a law until the governor signs it.
He can withhold a bill and send it to the President for consideration.
He can dissolve the State Assembly before the expiry of its term on the advice of the Chief Minister or as directed by the President.
He causes the annual Budget to be presented in the Vidhan Sabha.

3. Judicial Powers:

The governor appoints the district judges.
He is consulted in the appointment of the judges of the High Court by the President
He can, pardon, remit and commute the sentence of a person convicted by a state court.

4. Financial Powers:

He causes the annual budget to be laid before the Vidhan Sabha;
No money bill can be introduced without his prior approval.

5. Discretionary Powers:

The Governor can use these powers:
If no party gets an absolute majority, the Governor can use his discretion in the selection of the Chief Minister;
During an emergency he can override the advice of the council of ministers. At such times, he acts as an agent of the President and becomes the real ruler of the state;
He uses his direction in submitting a report to the President regarding the affairs of the state; and
He can withhold his assent to a bill and send it to the President for his approval.

Conclusion People may think that the post of governor is useless and a financial burden on state governments but the role played by governor is very important.He serves as a bridge between central government and state government. The governor has to see that a stable government is formed in the state and also look into the legal validity of the law passed by state legislature and recommend president rule in the state if there is a breakdown of constitutional machinery.
Thus the post of governor is essential for the healthy functioning of democracy though it is true that this post has been reduced to becoming a retirement package for politicians.

Sources:
The illustrated weekly of India - E.M.S Namboodiripad
D.D.Basu - Introduction to the Constitution Of India
M.V Pylee - India’s Constitution

Written By: Ayushi Detha

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