Most of the people have doubts, regarding the roles, responsibilities, powers and authorities of the Prime Minister and President. But the fact is that the difference between the two executives relies on the country we are talking about, i.e. some countries have one or the other, while some have both. There are two forms of government, which decides whether the country has any one or both the executives, these are Presidential form and Parliamentary form.
India is a democratic country, it has a parliamentary system of government, at both national and state level. In this form of government, there exist both President and Prime Minister. The President of the country is the first citizen, as well as the head of the State. On the other hand, Prime Minister along with the other Council of Minister, heads the Government of the country, at the national level. So, let’s take a look at the article presented to you, to have a better understanding on the two.
Content: Prime Minister Vs President
|Basis for Comparison||Prime Minister||President|
|Meaning||Prime Minister is the chief functionary of the government and the most powerful person of the country.||President is the first citizen of the country and holds the highest office of the country.|
|Head||Head of Cabinet and Council of ministers.||Ceremonial head of the country.|
|Election||Elected by the President||Elected by the MP's and MLA's|
|Political party||Belongs to party, with majority in the lower chamber.||Does not belongs to any political party.|
|Bills||Prime Minister and other Council of Ministers decides the policies and bills.||Bills cannot be passed without the assent of President.|
|Emergency||Can't declare emergency in the country.||President can declare emergency in the country.|
|Judicial Decisions||No authority to interfere in judicial decisions.||A President has the power to give amnesty to criminals.|
|Removal before tenure||If Lok Sabha passes 'No confidence motion'||Only through 'impeachment'|
Definition of Prime Minister
Prime Minister (PM) is the head of the Council of Ministers, chief advisor to the President and is the major functionary of the government of the country. He holds the most powerful office in India for a period of five years.
The President of India, appoints the leader having the support of majority as the Prime Minister. The support of the majority of the lower house of parliament is a must, for the Prime Minister, because without such support, he/she loses office. Further, the PM selects the ministers in the Council of Ministers and distributes rank and portfolios to them.
Prime Minister, along with other elected ministers forms Council of Ministers, who should be the members of Parliament. The council comes into force only after PM, and so it cannot exist without him. Further, they are jointly responsible to the Lok Sabha, i.e. in case the Ministry loses the confidence of the lower chamber, the whole council is bound to resign.
The PM exercises powers, that comes from diverse sources like control over the council, the leadership of the House of People, access to media, foreign visits, the projection of personalities at the time of elections, and so on.
Definition of President
The ‘President of India’ is the chief executive of the state, the ceremonial head of the country, protector of the constitution and supreme commander of the three armed forces. He is the nominal executive chosen indirectly by the people, through the elected Members of the Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies of all states and union territories. He/She holds the highest office for a period of five years.
The Indian constitution confers the executive powers of the Union to the President, which is exercised through the Council of Ministers led by the Prime Minister. He possesses absolute powers in relation to legislative, judicial and emergency matters, which is used, in consultation with the Council of Ministers.
The President has the right to get information concerning all significant matters and discussions of Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister is bound to provide all the information, demanded by the President. He/She has exclusive powers of appointing the Governors of States, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, Chief Election Commission, Chief Justice of supreme court and high court, Chief Election Commissioner, Chairman and other members of UPSC (Union Public Service Commission).
Key Differences Between Prime Minister and President
The following points are noteworthy so far as the differences between prime minister and president are concerned:
- The chief functionary of the elected government and the most powerful person in the country is the Prime Minister. The first citizen of the country and holds the highest office of the country is the President.
- A Prime Minister is the head of the Cabinet and Council of Ministers, whereas a President is the Ceremonial head of the nation.
- The President of India appoints the Prime Minister. On the other hand, the President is elected by Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly through voting.
- The Prime Minister belongs to the political party, with the majority in the House of people, i.e. Lok Sabha. On the contrary, the President does not belong to any political party.
- When it comes to bills, the Prime Minister together with other Council of Ministers decides the policies and bills. As against this, the bills cannot be passed without prior recommendation of President.
- The power to declare emergency situation is in the hands of President and not in the hands of Prime Minister.
- The Prime Minister does not have the authority to intervene legal decisions. Unlike Prime Minister, the President has the power to give amnesty to criminals.
- The Prime Minister can be removed before tenure if the Lower house of parliament passes a ‘No confidence motion’. In contrast, the President can be removed before his tenure, only through following the process of ‘impeachment’, which requires a special majority for the removal of the President and the only criteria for impeachment is the violation of the constitution.
Both President and Prime Minister, remain in the post for a tenure of 5 years and derive their powers and duties from the constitution. There are wide differences in the roles, responsibility, rights and obligations of the two primary executives, so they should not be confused with one another.