According to Article 74(1) of the Indian Constitution, “there shall be a Prime Minister to head the Council of Ministers.” Hence, without the Prime Minister, the Council cannot function. The very fact that he is a Prime Minister means that he is superior to others. That is why Ramsay Muir
compared cabinet to the steering wheel of the state and the Prime Minister to the ‘steers Man.” Ivory Jennings called him as “the sun around which the planets revolve” and Hinton said that the Prime Minister was an “elected Monarch.”
3. Powers and Functions:
1. Head of the Government:
While the President is head of the state, the Prime Ministers are head of the Government. In theory all major executive functions are vested in the hands of the President, but exercises them only with aid and advice of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.
2. Leader of the Cabinet:
According to Ivory Jennings, “he is a sun around which other ministers revolve like planets.” He selects ministers of his council and distributes portfolio amongst them. He acts as Chairman of the Cabinet. He can ask for resignation of an individual Minister or can get him dismissed by the President.
3. Leader of the Parliament:
In this capacity, the Prime Minister
i. Determines the dates of meeting, as also its programmes for the session.
ii. Chief spokesperson of the government in the Parliament.
iii. Announces the major policy decision of the government.
iv. Can participate and intervene in all debates in the Parliament.
4. Leader of the Majority Party in the Lok Sabha:
In Parliamentary democracy, usually the leader of majority party in the Lower House is appointed as the Prime Minister. However, in case no party gets majority, the President may appoint a person whom he may deem fit to garner the support of majority.
5. Chairman of the Planning Commission:
In this capacity he becomes a chairman of super cabinet wherein all chief ministers of states and administrators of Union Territories are represented. It covers all developmental activities undertaken by the centre as well as states.