State Governor

The Governor is the head of a state just like the President is the head of the republic. The Governor is the nominal head of a state, while the Chief Minister is the executive head. All executive actions of the state are taken in the name of the Governor. However, in reality he merely gives his consent to the various executive actions. He or she is devoid of taking any major decisions. The governor acts as the nominal head whereas the real power lies with the chief ministers of the states and their councils of ministers..

According to an amendment in the Constitution of India, brought about in 1956, the same person can be the Governor of two or more states. Apart from the governors in the states, Lieutenant governors are appointed in Union Territories of Delhi, Andaman Nicobar Island and Pudducherry. All other union-territories are governed by an Administrative Head (an IAS officer). The powers of the Lieutenant Governor of a union-territory are equivalent to the powers of a Governor of a state in India. Both are appointed by the President of India for a term of 5 years.

 

 

Selection Process

Qualification

Article157 and Article158 of the Constitution of India specify eligibility requirements for the post of governor. They are as follows:

A governor must:

•           be a citizen of India.

•           be at least thirty-five (35) years old.

•           not be a member of the either house of the parliament or house of the state legislature.

•           not hold any other office of profit.

Powers and functions of Governor

The primary function of the governor is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law as incorporated in his/her oath of office under Article 159 of the Indian constitution in the administration of the State affairs. All his/her actions, recommendations and supervisory powers (Article 167c, Article 200, Article 213, Article 355, etc.) over the executive and legislative entities of a State shall be used to implement the provisions of the Constitution. In this respect, the governor has many different types of powers:

•           Executive powers related to administration, appointments and removals,

•           Legislative powers related to lawmaking and the state legislature, that is Vidhan Sabha or Vidhan Parishad,

•           Discretionary powers to be carried out according to the discretion of the governor

Executive powers

The Constitution vests in the governor all the executive powers of the state government. The governor appoints the chief minister, who enjoys the support of the majority in the Legislative Assembly. The governor also appoints the other members of the Council of Ministers and distributes portfolios to them on the advice of the chief minister.

The Council of Ministers remain in power during the 'pleasure' of the governor, but in the real sense it means the pleasure of the Legislative Assembly. As long as the majority in the Vidhan Sabha supports the government, the Council of Ministers cannot be dismissed.

The governor appoints the chief minister of a state. He or she also appoints the Advocate General and the chairman and members of the State Public Service Commission. The president consults the governor in the appointment of judges of the High Courts and the governor appoints the judges of the District Courts. All administrations are carried on his or her name, he or she also has the power to appoint staff for his tenure in class one and class four as per constitution of India.

Legislative powers

The governor summons the sessions of both houses of the state legislature and prorogues them. The governor can even dissolve the Vidhan Sabha. These powers are formal and the governor while using these powers must act according to the advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the chief minister.

The governor inaugurates (to dedicate) the state legislature by addressing it after the assembly elections and also at the beginning of the first session every year. The governor's address on these occasions generally outlines new policies of the state government. A bill that the state legislature has passed, can become a law only after the governor gives assent. The governor can return a bill to the state legislature, if it is not a money bill, for reconsideration. However, if the state legislature sends it back to the governor for the second time, the governor must assent to it. The governor has the power to reserve certain bills for the president.

Per Articles 165 and 177, Governor can ask the Advocate General to attend the proceedings of both houses of the state legislature and report to him any unlawful functioning if any.

Financial powers

Money bills can be introduced in the State Legislative Assembly only on the prior recommendation of the governor. He also causes to be laid before the State Legislature the annual financial statement which is the State Budget. Further no demand for grant shall be made except on his recommendation. He can also make advances out of the Contingency Fund of the State to meet any unforeseen expenditure. Moreover, he constitutes the State Finance Commission.

Discretionary powers

The governor can use these powers:

•           When no party gets a clear majority, the governor can use his discretion in the selection of chief ministerial candidate to prove the majority as soon as possible.

•           He submits reports on his own to the president or on the direction of the president regarding the affairs of the state.

•           He can withhold his assent to a bill and send it to the president for his approval.

•           During an emergency rule per Article 353, governor can override the advice of the council of ministers if specifically permitted by the president only.

 

Salary of the Governor

The monthly salary of a Governor is Rs 1,10,000, as specified in the Governor’s (Emoluments, Allowances and Privileges) Act of 1982. The Governor is also entitled to certain benefits and allowances, which shall not be diminished during his office term of five years.

 

Facilities for the Governor

In addition to the monthly salary, the Governor is entitled to a number of special facilities such as medical facilities, residence facilities, traveling facilities, reimbursement of phone and electricity bills, and many other allowances. The Governor is provided an official residence free of rent. The Governor and his or her family is also provided free medical attendance for life. A fixed amount of money is also allotted as the Governor’s traveling expenses across the country.

Duty Term of the Governor

A governor of a state in India holds office for a period of five years, but it is subject to termination earlier if:

·         The Governor is dismissed by the President, at whose pleasure he holds the office. In reality, the President is advised by the Prime Minister of the country, who decides the dismissal of the Governor of a state, usually on the grounds of gross delinquency namely corruption, bribery and violation of the Constitution.

·         The Governor resigns from his post. There is no retirement age of the Governor, as he or she stays in office for a fixed term. There is no provision for a Governor to be impeached from office, unlike that of a President.

Pension of the Governor

A Governor of a particular state is entitled to a fixed pension, as per the Constitution of India. In August 2013, a Bill for hike in pension for the Governor was initiated. Besides a fixed pension, a Governor is also entitled to emoluments such as secretarial allowances and medical benefits for life.

 

The Residence of the Governor

As the Governor is the nominal head of a particular state in India, he or she is entitled to reside in the Raj Bhavan of that state, during his or her term of office. Like the President of India who resides in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi, each state has a Raj Bhavan, which is allotted to the Governor and his family. The Governor must vacate the Raj Bhavan on the expiry of his or her term of office.

 

Interesting Facts

The first woman to become a Governor of a state in India was Sarojini Naidu. She was the Governor of Uttar Pradesh from 15 August 1947 till her demise on 2 March 1949.

 

Governors List

 

State

(Past Governors)

Name

Took Office

      (Tenure Length)

Andhra Pradesh

E. S. L. Narasimhan

28 December 2009

(7 years, 157 days)

Arunachal Pradesh

Padmanabha Acharya

(Additional charge)

28 January 2017

(126 days)

Assam

Banwarilal Purohit

22 August 2016

(285 days)

Bihar

Ram Nath Kovind

16 August 2015

(1 year, 291 days)

Chhattisgarh

Balram Das Tandon

25 July 2014

(2 years, 313 days)

Goa

Mridula Sinha

31 August 2014

(2 years, 276 days)

Gujarat

Om Prakash Kohli

16 July 2014

(2 years, 322 days)

Haryana

Kaptan Singh Solanki

27 July 2014

(2 years, 311 days)

Himachal Pradesh

Acharya Dev Vrat

12 August 2015

(1 year, 295 days)

Jammu and Kashmir

Narinder Nath Vohra

25 June 2008

(8 years, 343 days)

Jharkhand

Draupadi Murmu

18 May 2015

(2 years, 16 days)

Karnataka

Vajubhai Vala

1 September 2014

(2 years, 275 days)

Kerala

P. Sathasivam

5 September 2014

(2 years, 271 days)

Madhya Pradesh

Om Prakash Kohli

(Additional charge)

8 September 2016

(268 days)

Maharashtra

C. Vidyasagar Rao

30 August 2014

(2 years, 277 days)

Manipur

Najma Heptulla

21 August 2016

(286 days)

Meghalaya

Banwarilal Purohit

(Additional charge)

28 January 2017

(126 days)      

Mizoram

Nirbhay Sharma

26 May 2015

(2 years, 8 days)

Nagaland

Padmanabha Acharya

19 July 2014

(2 years, 319 days)

Odisha

S. C. Jamir

21 March 2013

(4 years, 74 days)

Punjab

V. P. Singh Badnore

22 August 2016

(285 days)

Rajasthan

Kalyan Singh

4 September 2014

(2 years, 272 days)

Sikkim

Shriniwas Patil

20 July 2013

(3 years, 318 days)

Tamil Nadu

C. Vidyasagar Rao

(Additional charge)

2 September 2016

(274 days)

Telangana

E. S. L. Narasimhan

2 June 2014

(3 years, 1 day)

Tripura

Tathagata Roy

20 May 2015

(2 years, 14 days)

Uttar Pradesh

Ram Naik

22 July 2014

(2 years, 316 days)

Uttarakhand

Krishan Kant Paul

8 January 2015

(2 years, 146 days)

West Bengal

Keshari Nath Tripathi

24 July 2014

(2 years, 314 days)

 

Lieutenant governors and administrators of union territories

 

Office and union territory

(past officeholders)

              Name

Took office

(tenure length)

Lieutenant Governor of

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Jagdish Mukhi

22 August 2016

(285 days)

Administrator of

Chandigarh

V. P. Singh Badnore

(Ex-officio)

22 August 2016

(285 days)

Administrator of

Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Praful Khoda Patel

(Additional charge)

30 December 2016

(155 days)

Administrator of

Daman and Diu

Praful Khoda Patel

29 August 2016

(278 days)

Lieutenant Governor of

Delhi

Anil Baijal

31 December 2016

(154 days)

Administrator of

Lakshadweep

Farooq Khan

6 September 2016

(270 days)

Lieutenant Governor of

Puducherry

Kiran Bedi

29 May 2016

(1 year, 5 days)