Once the President is elected, the excitement subsides and for the next five years not much attention is paid to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
What has the Constitution provided regarding the President?
- Nominal head- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar quoted that our President is merely a nominal figurehead and has no discretion and powers of administration.
- Article 53- It says that the executive power of the Union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with Constitution.
- It means the President exercises these powers only on the aid and the advice of the Council of Ministers.
- Method of election- It is an indirect election which is proportional representation by a single transferrable vote.
Is the office of President a mere rubber stamp?
- Moral authority- The population of the country is a crucial factor in the election of the President and gives the President a greater moral authority.
- Disagree with decisions- The President does not directly exercise the executive authority of the Union but he can disagree with the decision of the Council of Ministers, caution and counsel them.
- Ask for reconsideration of decisions- The President can ask the Cabinet to reconsider its decisions but if the Cabinet, after such reconsideration, sends the same proposal back without any change, the President will have to sign it.
- Broader view- The Constitution of India gives the President the freedom to take a broader view of things uninfluenced by the narrow political view of the executive.
- This can be seen from the oath that contains two solemn promises.
- Influence the government- There were Presidents such as Rajendra Prasad and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who openly differed with the government on certain policy issues and could exert tremendous influence on the government.
It is possible for a President to intervene on behalf of the citizenry against the tyranny of the executive and persuade it to give up its ways.
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