Understanding Lok Sabha elections: How is the Prime Minister of India elected? Functions, Powers

The battle for Lok Sabha elections 2019 has well and truly begun. As the build-up gets intense, we bring you some interesting facts and trivia related to Lok Sabha and elections over the years

How is the Prime Minister of India elected?

India follows a parliamentary system in which the prime minister is the presiding head of the government and chief of the executive of the government.  In such systems, President usually holds a purely ceremonial position and acts—on most matters—only on the advice of the prime minister. The Prime Minister of India is not directly elected by the people, but he/she is to be appointed by the President. In doing so the President follows the rules of the parliamentary system. He appoints the leader of the majority in the Lok Sabha as the Prime Minister.

Functions and Powers of the Prime Minister:

  1. He/She proposes the names of the members of his political party to President for appointment as Ministers.
  2. He/She decides the distribution of charge to various ministers and can reshuffle their cabinet also.
  3. He/She presides over the meetings of Cabinet and can change the decisions taken therein.
  4. He/She can suggest the President of India about the resignation or removal of any Minister from his Cabinet.
  5. He/She also controls and directs the functioning of Ministers in the Cabinet.
  6. He/She can resign anytime and can suggest the President of India to dissolve the Cabinet.
  7. He/She can suggest the President to dissolve Lok Sabha and to organize fresh elections.

Eligibility criteria of the Prime Minister of India:

  1. Should be a citizen of India.
  2. Should be member of any of the house of the Parliament either Lok Sabha (lower house) or Rajya Sabha (upper house).
  3. Should be at least 25 years of age if he/she is the member of Lok Sabha or 30 years of age if member of Rajya Sabha.
  4. If the person chosen as the prime minister is neither a member of the Lok Sabha nor the Rajya Sabha at the time of selection, they must become a member of either of the houses within six months.
  5. Should not hold any office of profit under government of India or government of any state.
  6. He/she has to be a member of the political party or coalition, having a majority in the Lok Sabha.
  7. If a candidate is elected as the prime minister they must vacate their post from any private or government company and may take up the post only on completion of their term.
  8. He/she should not be a proved criminal by any of court of justice in India.

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