Chief Minister of States and Union Territories of India
  • Honourable (Inside India)
  • His/Her Excellency (Outside India)
TypeHead of State Government
Member ofState legislature of that state
Reports to
ResidenceRespective state capitals
NominatorMembers of legislative assembly
AppointerThe Governor
by convention, based on appointee's ability to command confidence in the legislative assembly
Term lengthAt the pleasure of the Governor
No restriction on renewal
Constituting instrumentArticle no. 163 and 164 , Constitution of India
DeputyDeputy chief minister (in some states)
Salary400,000 (US$5,000)
(incl. allowances) per month
WebsiteChief ministers of India

In India, a chief minister is the elected head of government of each state out of the 28[1] states and sometimes a union territory (UT). Currently, only the UTs of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir (currently vacant) and Puducherry have serving chief ministers. According to the Constitution of India, the governor is a state's head, but de facto executive authority rests with the chief minister.

Following elections to the State legislative assembly or Vidhan Sabha in a state, the state's governor usually invites the party (or coalition) with a majority of seats to form the government. The governor appoints and swears in the chief minister, whose council of ministers are collectively responsible to the assembly. Based on the Westminster system, given that they retain the confidence of the assembly, the chief minister's term can last for the length of the assembly's life, a maximum of five years. There are no limits to the number of terms that the chief minister can serve.[2] A chief minister heads a state government's council of ministers and can be deputised in that role by a deputy chief minister. The chief minister generally selects the chief secretary and can also allot departments to the cabinet ministers of their state and ministers of state. They also direct the chief secretary to transfer, suspend, or promote officers of their state.

Selection process


The Constitution of India sets the principle qualifications one must meet to be eligible to the office of chief minister. A chief minister must be:

An individual who is not a member of the legislature can be considered the chief minister provided they get themselves elected to the State Legislature within six months from the date of their appointment. Failing which, they would cease to be the chief minister.


The chief minister is elected through a majority in the state legislative assembly. This is procedurally established by the vote of confidence in the legislative assembly, as suggested by the governor of the state who is the appointing authority. They are elected for five years.[4] The chief minister shall hold office during the pleasure of the governor


Since, according to the constitution, the chief minister is appointed by the governor, the swearing in is done before the governor of the state.

The oath of office

I, do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, that I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge my duties as a Minister for the State of and that I will do right to all manner of people in accordance with the Constitution and the law without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.

— Constitution of India, Schedule 3, Para 5

The oath of secrecy

I, <Name of Minister>, do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person or persons any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as a Minister for the State of <Name of the State> except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as such Minister.

— Constitution of India, Schedule 3, Para 6


In the event of a chief minister's resignation, which conventionally occurs after a general election or during a phase of assembly majority transition, the outgoing chief minister holds the informal title of "caretaker" chief minister until the governor either appoints a new chief minister or dissolves the assembly. Since the post is not constitutionally defined, the caretaker chief minister enjoys all the powers a regular chief minister, but cannot to make any major policy decisions or cabinet changes during his or her short tenure as caretaker.[5]


Further information: Salaries of government officials in India

By Article 164 of the constitution of India, remuneration of the chief minister as well as other ministers are to be decided by the respective state legislatures.[6] Until the legislature of the state decides salary, it shall be as specified in the second schedule. [7] The salaries thus vary from state to state. As of 2019, the highest salary is drawn by chief ministers of Telangana, which is 410,000 (US$5,100) and lowest by the chief ministers of Tripura which is 105,500 (US$1,300) legally.[8]

Deputy chief minister

Various states throughout the history have appointed deputy chief ministers. Despite being not mentioned in the constitution or law, the deputy-chief minister office is often used to pacify factions within the party or coalition. It is similar to the rarely used deputy-prime minister post in the central government of India. During the absence of the chief minister, the deputy-chief minister may chair cabinet meetings and lead the assembly majority. Various deputy chief ministers have also taken the oath of secrecy in line with the one that chief minister takes. This oath has also sparked controversies.[9][10]

See also


  1. ^ "States and Union Territories". Archived from the original on August 18, 2017.
  2. ^ Durga Das Basu. Introduction to the Constitution of India. 1960. 20th Edition, 2011 Reprint. pp. 241, 245. LexisNexis Butterworths Wadhwa Nagpur. ISBN 978-81-8038-559-9.
  3. ^ Constitution of India, Article 173
  4. ^ The Constitution of India article 164, clause 1
  5. ^ "Caretaker chief minister is just a placeholder, say experts". The Times of India. 12 February 2017.
  6. ^ The Constitution of India, article 164,clause 5
  7. ^ The Constitution of India, Article 164, Clause 5
  8. ^ Jain, CA Sindu (2017-05-21). "CM Salary India 2019 (Chief Minister Salary State Wise List)". FinApp. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  9. ^ Dhananjay Mahapatra (27 December 2017). "Deputy CM: Not in Constitution, yet a post with a long history". Times of India. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  10. ^ S. Rajendran (13 July 2012). "Of Deputy Chief Ministers and the Constitution". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 June 2019.