As Rajasthan prepares to poll on November 25, let us take you back to the history of Legislature in Rajasthan.
The erstwhile Rajputana had twenty-two princely states and even though these states were declared to have been annexed to the Union of India in 1947, the process of merger concluded only by 1949, in five phases.
In one of these phases, the Union of Rajasthan was inaugurated on March 25, 1948, and Kota was made the capital of the Union with Shri Gokul Lal Asawa becoming the chief minister. While Kota Naresh was appointed as theRajpramukh initially, three days later, the ‘Maharana’ of Udaipur decided to join the the Union and was made the Rajpramukh and Kota Naresh was appointed as Up-Rajpramukh of the Union of Rajasthan. The Cabinet was formed under Shri Manikya Lal Verma’s leadership.
Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated this Union on April 18, 1948. This soon led to the formation of Greater Rajasthan as bigger states like Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and Jodhpur merged with the Union. While the process of creation of the Legislative Assembly only started in the final phase of the formation of Rajasthan, and the Vidhan Sabha came into being in March 1952, the people of Rajasthan were acquainted with parliamentary democracy even under princely rule.
Maharaja Mansingh had constituted a Central Advisory Board in 1939 with a view of discussing matters of public importance through representatives of the people. It had 13 nominated members and 35 non-official members. This board had the power to advise on matters relating to medical facilities, sanitation, public works, roads, wells & buildings, public education, rural upliftment, marketing, commerce & trade etc. Its inauguration was on March 18, 1940.
Initially, the House of Representatives and Vidhan Parishad were supposed to be set up on June 1, 1944 as per the Jaipur Government Act, 1944. The former was to be composed of 120 elected members and five nominated non-official members, out of a total of 145 members and the latter of 51 members.
However, as the political situation was rapidly changing, a Reforms Committee headed by Shri Gopal Singh was formed in May 1946, that recommended the formation of a Constituent Assembly to form the Constituent Assembly and that each constituencymust elect a member to represent them in the 50-member constituent assembly.
On March 3, 1947, Maharana Bhupal Singh announced certain reforms as per which a Vidhan Sabha was constituted which had 46 elected members and some non-official members. The Vidhan Sabha had the power to enact laws and vote on the Budget.
Vidhan Sabha elections were held in September 1947 and the session was inaugurated on March 18, 1948.
However, the Matsya Union (Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur, and Karauli) merged with Greater Rajasthan on May 15, 1949, and the Ajmer State was included in the first schedule of the Constitution after which the Legislative Assembly was set up in May, 1952.
The Ajmer Legislative Assembly approved the merger of the Ajmer State into Rajasthan State in 1956. The members of the Ajmer assembly then became the members of the Rajasthan Assembly for the rest of their terms.
(Published 11 November 2023, 11:58 IST)