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Why President? When have a PM.

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

This question must have struck you if you're active at politics or even an aware citizen that why in India we have a President when everything is done by the Prime Minister? Why are we paying an extra salary to someone who does not have any real power from tax payers money? So who is he/ she.


The President in India is a nominal head of state and every government work is done in the name of President at center and Governor in the state whether it is passing of a legislation or Budget etc. But because when, Indian Independence Act got passed in 1947 we opted for the parliamentary form of government because we were experienced with that kind of working as British's ruled us through this system after the monopoly of East India Company ended in 1813 and finally by the Charter Act of 1833. Later the Indian councils Act of 1861 is landmark, the Indian councils Act of 1909 and 1919 and 1935 were instrumental in shaping the parliamentary system. So the Indian leaders at that time thought to go with the parliamentary system only rather than a Presidential system, which America follows.



President is not just like any other position its a stature, honor and a designation whom everyone has to respect. The President is the supreme commander of all the forces of India (the military, navy and air force). He holds the power to declare Emergency, he can dissolve the government of the day, he can withhold the assent to the bill passed by the Parliament, he appoints the CJI and the Chief justice of the High court and a lot more task as prescribed by the constitution.

Of course all the powers vested in the President are subject to conditions as he has to act on the advice of the council of ministers, which we can say act on the advice of Prime Minister.


The President is basically required, to have someone of equal or bigger stature as PM when we have no one to run the country, when maybe our PM is dead, not able to function properly or he/ she is removed/ resigned from the office. President calls on the next leader of the majority party to form the government and if there is no one to form the government it is the President who can pass ordinances which act with same effect as legislations passed by the parliament also when the parliament is not in session he can promulgate ordinances.


It is often alleged that the President is a 'Rubber stamp of the government of the day' as he has to do what the Prime Minister says just like we saw in 1975 when the Emergency was declared without informing the Parliament or without giving any logical reason. However the stature of the President holds importance and we are a Republic because we have a elected head of state unlike Britain who has a Queen as the head of the state which is not elected.


Article 52 to 78 in Part V of the Constitution deal with the Union Executive. The union executive consists of the president, the vice president, the prime minister, the council of ministers and the Attorney General of India.

Article 54 : Election to the President - The President shall be elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of – the elected members of both Houses of Parliament; and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States. Explanation: In this article and in article 55, “State” includes the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union territory of Pondicherry.


Also, the President is elected by all the elected members that includes the elected members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, then members of all the legislative assemblies of state (that is the MLA's) and the weightage of each vote is fixed on the basis of a formula, which considers population and total number of seats in that state. He/she sits in the Rashtrapati bhavan which was earlier house of Governor General of India before Independence.


stay tuned for more.





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