Deputy CM’s post emerges as unifier amid caste, coalition compulsions

Appointing a deputy CM is not a new practice in India. Though it is not a constitutional post and is equivalent to a cabinet minister, but a deputy CM is considered second only to the CM. In June, Andhra Pradesh appointed a record five deputy CMs ...

Agencies
In Rajasthan, it was really an uphill task for the Congress high command to resolve the leadership issue between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.
New Delhi: On October 27, Dushyant Chautala became deputy chief minister of Haryana, taking the total number of deputy CMs to a record 24 across 16 states.

Appointing a deputy CM is not a new practice in India. Though it is not a constitutional post and is equivalent to a cabinet minister, but a deputy CM is considered second only to the CM.

In June, Andhra Pradesh appointed a record five deputy CMs and is followed by Karnataka with three and Uttar Pradesh and Goa with 2 each. Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Bihar, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur have one deputy CM each. The BJP has appointed 12 deputy CMs and YSR Congress five.


Balancing social equations
In June, Andhra Pradesh’s new chief minister, Jagan Mohan Reddy, did a fi-ne caste balance by appointing a record five deputy CMs. One deputy CM was nominated each from schedule caste, schedule tribe, backward caste, minority and Kappu communities.

The BJP government in Karnataka also tried to take along all castes by naming three deputy CMs, one each from SC, Vokkaliga and Lingayat.

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While Govind Karajol is a SC, Laxman Savadi a Lingayat and Aswath Narayana a Vokkaliga. In 2017, two deputy CMs, Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, were appointed in UP to make OBCs and Brahmins happy and put on a par with a Thakur chief minister.

In Gujarat, Nitin Patel was appointed as deputy CM to woo the Patels.

Ending power tussles
In Rajasthan, it was really an uphill task for the Congress high command to resolve the leadership issue between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.

The party devised a formula to keep the both factions happy and Pilot was named the deputy CM. In Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal doesn’t hold any portfolio and it is deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia who controls education portfolio. In 2017, two warring factions of AIADMK in Tamil Nadu came together ending the power tussle to run a government with O PannerSelvam becoming the deputy chief minister.
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Managing coalitions
Running a coalition government is also one of the criteria for appointing deputy chief ministers. In Bihar, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi with powerful finance portfolio is the longest serving deputy CM.
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