Strength of M.P. Ministry exceeds Constitutional limit, says Congress

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News: Congress is planning to move the court as the strength of the Council of Ministers in Madhya Pradesh reportedly exceeds the prescribed limit.

Facts:

Constitutional Provision Related to the Issue:

  • Article 164(1A): It prescribes that the total number of Ministers including the Chief Minister in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State.
  • Exception: Provided that the number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister in a State shall not be less than twelve.
  • Constitutional amendment: This provision was introduced through the 91st Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2003.

Additional Facts:

  • Article 163(1): It provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions.
  • Article 164(1): It provides that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister. 
    • However in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha there shall be a Minister in charge of tribal welfare who may in addition be in charge of the welfare of the scheduled castes and backward classes or any other work.
  • Article 164(4): It provides that a person can remain as Minister without being a member of the state legislature for a period of six consecutive months.