Difference between President and Prime Minister

By K Balaji|Updated : September 22nd, 2022

India is a democratic country and follows parliamentary rule. The roles and responsibilities of the leaders of the country are clearly defined. A President is usually referred to as the head of the state of a republic country. A Prime Minister is the head of the legislative or the Central Government. Leaders of countries help in shaping the world. The President and Prime Minister are the leaders who work for the benefit of their countries. Many people aspire to be world leaders on these posts.

It depends on the form of the Government (Presidential or Parliamentary) to decide whether a country should have both a President and Prime Minister or only one of the executives. Although both positions have very similar or overlapping authorities, their role in the government differ. In this article, let us learn about the difference between President and Prime Minister, their roles and responsibilities, relationships, etc.

Difference between President and Prime Minister

In several countries like Indonesia and the United States, the President performs the role of both State Head and Government leader. In India, the President is elected by the legislative assembly and appoints the Prime Minister. However, it is also important for the Prime Minister to get a nod from the members of Lok Sabha, who the people elect.

Difference between President and Prime Minister PDF

To be elected as a Prime Minister in India, the individual should be a citizen of India and a member of either Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha. Let us learn the difference between President and Prime Minister based on their roles and responsibilities, appointments, powers, etc in the table below.

President vs Prime Minister

The following table lists the key differences between Prime Minister and President:

Position

President

Prime Minister

Referred to as

The first citizen of the country, OR,

Head of the state or a country

Leader of the central government, OR,

Most powerful person in the country

Head

Head of the state or a country

Head of the Government or the Council of Ministers

Role

Plays an important role in passing bills related to reformation or making laws

Plays an important role in deciding policies and laws

Appointed by

The President is elected by the legislative assembly and parliament

The Prime Minister is appointed by the president

The Prime Minister also needs the majority of Lok Sabha who are elected by the people

Party

The President does not belong to any party

The Prime Minister represents the party that has achieved the highest votes during the elections of the Lok Sabha

Power of Declaring a State of Emergency

The President can declare a state of emergency

The Prime Minister does not have the power to declare a state of emergency

First leaders of India

Rajendra Prasad

Jawaharlal Nehru

Current in India

Currently, Droupadi Murmu is serving as the President of India

Currently, Mr Narendra Modi is serving the country as the Prime Minister

Powers of President and Prime Minister

The President of India is entitled to legislative, executive, and judicial powers by the Indian Constitution. He is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of India. He appoints Governors of the States, Attorney General, the Chief Justice of India, High Court Judges, Judges of the Supreme Court, etc. To know who is bigger, President or Prime Minister, look at their powers listed below.

President:

  • The President of India can give commands to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as well as postpone it.
  • Bills can become laws only after they are signed and approved by him/her.
  • He/She can impose state emergency and national emergency under Article 356 and Article 352, respectively.
  • He/She can also declare a financial emergency under Article 360.
  • He/She can grant an award, pardon, revoke, or remission of a person, and can minimize the sentence of death of a person.

Prime Minister:

  • PM gives recommendations to the President to appoint ministers.
  • He can ask any minister to resign at any time as per his will or can ask President to dismiss any minister if such a situation occurs.
  • In the meetings of the council of ministers, Prime Minister’s decision is the final.
  • Allocations or reshuffling of departments of Ministers can be done anytime by the PM.
  • He plays the role of a guide, leader, director, etc to other ministers.

Who is More Powerful President or Prime Minister?

In a country like India with a Parliamentary form of Government, it is difficult to have 1 right answer for this question. President is the nominal head and the first citizen of the country, but the Prime Minister is the leader of the Government. So, actual power lies with the Prime Minister of India.

But, as per the Indian Constitution, President is the one who appoints the Prime Minister and has the power to dismiss PM at any time, which makes him/her more powerful.

Relationship between President and Prime Minister

In a country like India, where the role of Prime Minister and President is clearly defined, it is important to understand the relationship between the two in terms of working.

  • The Prime Minister serves as a communication channel between the President of India and the council of ministers.
  • On the advice of the PM, President appoints the Attorney General of India, Chairman of various commissions, CAG, etc.
  • Prime Minister plays an active role in giving advice to the President about the postponement, summoning, and dissolving of sessions of Parliament.

Summary:

There is a difference between President and Prime Minister based on the role, power, and position. Both are important leaders of the country. Both leaders try to make their countries self-reliant and prosperous. Although both the positions have overlapping authorities, there are still several points that highlight the difference between them which have been discussed in detail in this article.

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FAQs on President vs Prime Minister

  • The President is the first citizen of India and holds the highest office, while the Prime Minister in India is the leader of the ruling party, head of the Cabinet, and Council of Ministers.

  • Both President and Prime Minister are appointed for a period of 5 years. Under Article 56 (1) of the Constitution of India, a President is appointed for a tenure of 5 years. And, Prime Minister is elected through the general elections which are held every 5 years in normal circumstances.

  • Both Prime Minister and President have legislative and executive powers defined to them which they use to effectively work for the betterment of the country. Prime Minister is the head of the Government (the ruling party), and the President is the nominal head of the country.

  • Yes, there is a difference between President and Prime Minister's way of being elected. The President is elected by the legislative assembly, on the other hand, elections are held all over the country to choose the ruling party MLAs, and the leader of that party is appointed by the President as the Prime Minister of the country.

  • Yes, there is a difference between President and Prime Minister's powers and roles. The President approves the policies and laws while the Prime Minister makes laws and policies to improve the country.

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