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President vs Governor
The office of the President is more ceremonial than functional. But the Governor’s office is ceremonial as well as functional.
The Constitution has explicitly conferred certain discretionary powers on the Governor. But for President, there are no explicit discretionary functions. It is to be inferred from the Constitution.
Other than all the discretionary powers of the President, a Governor enjoys the following powers, which are not enjoyable with the President.
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Governor is more powerful according to the provisions of the Constitution of India
According to Art. 163 (1), there shall be a Council of Ministers to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is required to exercise his discretion. Thus, the discretionary powers of the Governor are explicitly mentioned in Art. 163. According to Article 163 (2), if any question arises whether any matter is discretionary or not, the decision of the Governor in his discretion shall be final.
Exercising powers under Art. 200, the Governor can reserve the Bill passed by the State Legislature for the President’s consideration. Such power is not available to the President.
Under Article 356, the Governor can invite President to take over the administration of a State, if he feels that the State Government cannot function in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Thus, the administration of the State will be directly under the control of Governor. But there is no such provision of taking over the administration for the President.
A Governor can exist without the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers (during the President’s Rule). But the President cannot function without the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. That is, there is no provision of “President’s Rule” for the Union.
The Governors of certain States have been granted ‘Special Responsibilities’ under the Constitution (Art. 371). In fact, this power has been invested in the office of the President who directs the State Governors to perform specific work/duties. The ‘Special Responsibility’ is totally at the discretion of the Governor and his individual judgment cannot be questioned in any court of law.
Under the cover of Special Responsibility, the Governors of different States have different functions.
- For the Governors of Maharashtra and Gujarat, it is regarding special care, for the development of Vidarbha and Saurashtra regions respectively.
- For the Governor of Nagaland, it is the maintenance of law and order so long as disturbance by Nagas continue.
- For the Governor of Manipur, it is regarding securing proper functioning of the Committee of Hill Areas.
- For the Governor of Sikkim, it is basically for peace in the State and equitable arrangement for ensuring the social and economic advancement of different sections.
- In states of Bihar (Jharkhand), Madhya Pradesh (Chhattisgarh), and Orissa, the Governors have to see that a Special or Separate Ministry for the development of tribals is constituted.
Thus, the office of the Governor is that of both dignity and authority, while that of the President is more of dignity and prestige.