Written by: Ashi Chouksey
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)
Recently, Mamata Banerjee lost the Nandigram constituency in West Bengal and still took oath as West Bengal Chief Minister.
Can a person after losing an election be appointed as a CM?
In India, anybody can be appointed as a minister, chief minister or even prime minister without being a legislator, but the person then should get elected by the people within 6 months of appointment or else will have to step down from the post.
Article 164(4) of the Constitution of India reads: “A minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of the legislature of the state shall at the expiration of that period ceases to be a minister”.
It has happened many times in India that a non-MLA has taken oath as the Chief Minister. Uttarakhand’s Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat is one among them. In 2011, when Mamata Banerjee for the very first time took oath as a West Bengal Chief Minister, she was not an MLA. Yogi Adityanath also was not an elected member of legislative assembly (MLA) when he took oath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2017. The same was the case with UP’s Deputy CMs, Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya, also with the transport minister Swatantra Dev Singh. There are many such instances that have happened in India.
In the case of Har Sharan Verma v. Tribhuvan Narain Singh, the respondent, Tribhuvan Narain Singh was appointed as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. His appointment as a chief minister was challenged by the appellant on the grounds that he was neither a member of lower house nor the upper house. The appellant filed a plea in the Supreme Court.
The issue in the case was whether or not the appointment of a person as a chief minister who is not a member of either of the houses of legislature is valid? The court refused the writ petition saying that appointing a non-state legislative member as a chief minister of the state is valid under article 164(4) which approves of such appointment for a period of six months. It was said that if the appointment of the minister or the chief minister and council of ministers who are not the member of Legislative Assembly and the State Assembly is made by the Governor, there is nothing which would make this appointment of the ministers invalid or illegal.
Therefore, a person who is not the member of either of the houses or a person after losing an election can be appointed as a Chief Minister.