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Role of Deputy Chief Minister

Why it’s making headlines?

Recently, Ajit Pawar has taken the oath as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

About the Designation

  • The Deputy Chief Minister is typically appointed by the Chief Minister, who is the head of the state government, and serves as the second-highest-ranking member of the government.
  • Deputy CM holds a rank equivalent to a Cabinet Minister and enjoys similar perks. However, they lack specific financial or administrative powers and must seek the approval of the Chief Minister for decisions related to their portfolio.

Appointment and Removal

  • Discretionary Power: The appointment and removal of a Deputy Chief Minister lie entirely within the Chief Minister’s discretion, allowing them to maintain control over their cabinet.
  • Multiple Deputy Chief Ministers: Some states, like Uttar Pradesh, have more than one Deputy CM, reflecting the complex dynamics of coalition governments and party alliances.
  • Reshuffling and Dropping: Chief Ministers can reshuffle or drop Deputy Chief Ministers at any time based on political calculations, thereby maintaining flexibility in their administration.

Significance of the Post

  • Political Stability and Strength: The Deputy Chief Minister’s role contributes to political stability by ensuring the satisfaction of coalition partners and influential party members.
  • Administrative Assistance: Acting as the Chief Minister’s deputy, the Deputy CM aids in the governance and administration of the state, providing support and sharing responsibilities.
  • Bridging Divisions: In some cases, the Deputy CM acts as a bridge between the ruling party and its allies or different regions and communities within the state, fostering unity and collaboration.
  • Succession and Balance: The Deputy CM may be viewed as a potential successor to the Chief Minister or as a check and balance on their authority, enhancing the overall functioning of the government.
  • Influence on Policy-making: The extent of the Deputy CM’s influence on policy-making and governance depends on their rapport with the Chief Minister and other ministers.
  • Acting on Behalf of the Chief Minister: In the absence of the Chief Minister, the Deputy CM may fulfill their duties, such as presiding over cabinet meetings, attending official functions, or representing the state at inter-state or national forums. However, they lack constitutional authority to issue orders or directives without the Chief Minister’s consent.

Here is the list of recently appointed Deputy Chief Ministers

State Name Appointment Date Party
Nagaland T. R. Zeliang 7 March 2023 Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party
Meghalaya Sniawbhalang Dhar 7 March 2023 National People’s Party
Karnataka D. K. Shivakumar 20 May 2023 Indian National Congress
Chhattisgarh T. S. Singh Deo 28 June 2023 Indian National Congress
Maharashtra Ajit Pawar 2 July 2023 Nationalist Congress Party
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