Demand for a constituent assembly – The idea for constituent assembly for India was given firstly by M.N Roy in 1934. Officially the demand for a constituent assembly was raised by the Indian National Congress in 1935 for framing the Constitution of India.
In 1938- Jawaharlal Nehru declared that the Indian Constituent assembly will be elected by the adult franchise to frame the constituent of free India. This demand was accepted by the British- in the ‘August Offer’ of 1940 the British rule provided the provision of the constitution made by Indians themselves.
Composition of Constituent Assembly
- It was constituted in November 1946 under the Scheme of cabinet mission.
- The total strength of assembly was 389 out of this 296 were allotted to British India, 93- princely states.
- The elections for 296 seats allotted to British Indian Provinces were held in July- august 1946.
- Out of 296 seats, The Indian National Congress won 208 seats, the Muslim league- 73 seats, and other independent groups- 15 seats.
- Princely states of 93 seats did not fill as they decided to not involve in the constituent assembly.
- The first meeting of the constituent assembly held on December 9, 1946, the Muslim league boycotted and insisted on the formation of Pakistan.
- 211 members participated in the meeting, Dr. Schchidanand Sinha elected as Temporary President of the Assembly.
- Later Rajendra prasad elected as president of the assembly, and two vice presidents– H.C. Mukherjee and V.T.Krishnamachari.
- Mountbatten’s plan for the partition of the country was accepted on 28 April 1947.
The first cabinet of India after freedom (1947)
|S. No.||Position/ ministry||Members|
|1.||Prime minister, External affairs and commonwealth relations, Scientific research||Jawaharlal Nehru|
|2.||Home, Information and Broadcasting States||Sardar vallbha Bhai Patel|
|3.||Food and Agriculture||Dr. Rajendra Prashad|
|4.||Education||Maulana Abulkalam Azad|
|5.||Railway and Transport||Dr. Jhon Mathai|
|6.||Finance||R.K Sanmugham Chetty|
|7.||Law||Dr. B.R. Ambedkar|
|9.||Defense||Sardar Baldev Singh|
|10.||Health||Rajkumari Amrit Kaur|
|12.||Communication||Rafi Ahmed Kidwai|
|13.||Industries and supplies||Dr. Shyam Prasad Mukherji|
|14.||Work, Mines, And Power||V.N. Gadgil|
Additional functions performed by the constituent assembly
- The National Flag was adopted on 22nd July 1947, National Anthem adopted on 24 January 1950, and the National song was also adopted on 24th January 1950.
- Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first President of India on 24th January 1950.
- Constituent assembly held 11 sessions in two years 11 months and 18 days.
- For the different tasks of constitution-making, many functional committees were appointed. Out of them, 8 were major committees and presidents were–
- Union power committee- Jawaharlal Lal Nehru
- union Constitution committee- Jawaharlal Nehru
- Provincial constitution committee- Sardar Patel
- Drafting Committee- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
- Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded areas- Sardar Patel.
- Rules of Procedure Committee- Dr. Rajendra Prasad
- State Committee- Jawahar Lal Nehru.
- Steering committee- Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
- The most important was the Drafting Committee with seven members-
- B.R.Ambedkar (Chairman)
- Gopalaswami Ayyangar
- Alladi Krishnaswamy Ayyar
- Sayed Muhhamad Saudullah
- Madhav Rao (Initially B.N.Mittal, resigned due to health issues)
- T Krishnamacharya (After the death of DP Khaitan in 1948)
- The constitution adopted on 26 November 1949, consisting of a Preamble, 395 Articles, and 8 Schedules.
- Ambedkar called “The Father of Indian Constitution”.
- 26 January celebrated as Republic Day as the date of commencement of constitution having its historical importance- On 26 January 1930 was celebrated as Purna Swaraj (resolution of Lahore session December 1929)
- Important fact –
- The elephant was a symbol of the constituent assembly.
- N Rao was the constitutional advisor of the constitutional assembly
- V.R. Iyenger was secretary of the constitutional assembly.
- N.Mukherjee was chief Draftsman of the constitution of the constituent assembly.
- The original constitution was handwritten in italic style by Prem Behari Narayan – calligrapher of the Indian constitution.
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