There is a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor. The Governor appoints the Chief Minister and other Ministers are appointed by him on the advice of the Chief Minister.
All ministers hold office during the pleasure of the Governor. The Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the legislative Assembly of the State and may be removed from office by adverse voting therein.
The Governor is bound to appoint a person who is the leader of the majority party as Chief Minister. But where there is no party which commands majority in the legislative Assembly, the Governor can exercise his discretion in the selection of the Chief Minister.
The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Legislative Assembly but not to the Governor. All the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers are conveyed to the Governor by the Chief Minister.
These provisions make it clear that Governor is a constitutional head of the State and acts through Council of Ministers responsible to the State Assembly. Normally, the Governor is bound to act with the advice of his Council of Ministers in all matters except where he is required to act in his discretion. In following situations the Governor may be called to exercise his discretion:
(1) Appointment of the Chief Minister of the State;
(2) Dismissal of a Ministry;
(3) Dissolution of State Assembly;
(4) Power to Governor under para 16 of the 6th Schedule in respect of tribal areas of Assam;
(5) Advising the President to impose President Rule in the State.
(1) Appointment of the Chief Minister:
Normally, the Governor has no discretion in the matter of appointment of the Chief Minister. He is bound to appoint the person who commands majority In the Legislative Assembly. But where no party secures majority in the Legislative Assembly, the Governor may exercise his discretion in the matter of appointment of the Chief Minister.
(2) Dismissal of the Ministry:
In the matter of dismissal of a Ministry, the discretion of Governor is quite remote. The Ministers hold office during the pleasure of the Governor. But this concept of pleasure does not mean that the Governor may dismiss the ministry at his will.
So long the Ministry enjoys the confidence of the legislature; the Governor cannot dismiss the Ministry. However, if the Ministry loses the majority support of the legislature, the Governor may dismiss the Ministry immediately.
(3) Dissolution of Legislative Assembly:
Normally the State Assembly is dissolved by the Governor on the advice of the Cabinet. But where the Chief Minister advises the Governor to dissolve the Assembly, the Governor is not bound to do so. He may take decision on his own in such a situation.
(4) Power to Governor under Para 16 (2) of the 6th Schedule in respect of tribal Areas of Assam:
The Governor of Assam has been provided discretionary powers in respect of administration of tribal Areas of Assam. Here, the powers conferred on the Governor are independent of his Council of Ministers and he can act in his discretion as the situation warrants him to do.
(5) Advising the President to impose President Rule in the State:
In this respect Governor is not bound to consult his Council of Ministers. He takes his own decision when the circumstances of the State, are such that the administration cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. He may advise the President to take appropriate action to restore constitutional machinery.