History of Legislature in Rajasthan
The evolution of the
House of People's Representative in Rajasthan - the erstwhile Rajputana - is
one of the important developments in the annals of the constitutional history of India.
consisting of twenty-two small and big Princely States. Though these Princely States were declared to have been annexed to the
Union of India on 15 August, 1947, the process of merger and their unification became
complete only in April, 1949, in five phases. In the first phase of merger four Princely
States of Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli formed the Matsya Union and it was
inaugurated on 17th March, 1948. The Cabinet of this Union was formed under the Leadership
of Shri Shobha Ram. The Union of Rajasthan, consisting of Banswara, Bundi, Dungarpur,
Jhalawar, Kishangarh, Pratapgarh, Shahapura, Tonk and Kota, was inaugurated on 25 March,
1948. The Kota State got the honour of being the capital of this Union. The Kota Naresh
was appointed as the Rajpramukh and Shri Gokul Lal Asawa was appointed as the Chief
Minister. But only three days after its inauguration the Maharana of Udaipur decided to
join this Union which was accepted by the Government of India. The Maharana of Udaipur was
appointed as Rajpramukh and the Kota Naresh was appointed as Up- Rajpramukh of this Union
and the Cabinet was formed Under the leadership of Shri Manikya Lal Verma. This Union was
inaugurated by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru on 18 April, 1948. The formation of the Union of
Rajasthan paved the way for the merger of big states like Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and
Jodhpur with the Union and formation of Greater Rajasthan. It was formally inaugurated on
30 March, 1949 by Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. The Maharana Bhupal Singh of Udaipur was
appointed as the Maha-Rajpramukh and the Kota Naresh was appointed as the Up- Rajpramukh
and the Cabinet was formed under the leadership of Shri Hira Lala Shastri. Matsya Union
was merged with Greater Rajasthan on 15 May, 1949.
The process of the
creation of a Legislative Council had started during the final phase of the formation of
Rajasthan. This process continued upto the beginning of 1952. In the meantime Shri Hira
Lal Shastri submitted his resignation from the Chief Ministership and the interim
government was formed on 26 April, 1951. Though the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha came in to
existence in March 1952, the people of Rajasthan had experienced some kind of a
parliamentary democracy even under the princely rule. The Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner
was one such progressive king who made a gift of the House of Representatives to the
people of Bikaner State in 1913. Certain improvements were made in the set up of the
Legislative Assembly during the year 1937. The Strength of the House was raised to 51, out
of which 26 members were to be elected and 25 were to be nominated. Out of 26 members, 3
members were to be elected by the Tajimi Sardars, 10 by the State District Boards, 12 by
the Municipalities and one by Businessmen and Industrialists. These changes were
implemented in the year 1942.
The Bikaner Act No.3
of 1947 had a provision with regard to the Legislature, consisting of Raj Sabha and Dhara
Sabha. The elections for Raj Sabha & Dhara Sabha were scheduled to be held on 28
September, 1948. But on account of the decision taken by the Bikaner Praja Mandal on 8
August, 1948 to boycott the elections, the enforcement of the Bikaner Act No.3 of 1947 and
constitution of Raj Sabha and Dhara Sabha there under was postponed.
Despite the growing
political awareness amongst the people of the state, and their increasing activities
Maharaja Ummed Singh of Jodhpur had accepted the principle of people's participation in
the administration only in the 1940s and accorded his approval to the setting up of the
Central and District Advisory Boards.
In view of the
various reforms initiated by Maharaja Ram Singh during the fifth decade of the nineteenth
century in political, social and educational fields, the Jaipur State was considered as a
progressive State. But the impact of the political activities going on in other parts of
the country on the people of that State, was so profound that even the creation of a
Vidhan Samiti(1923), consisting of both official and non-official members, fell short of
constituted a Central Advisory Board in 1939 with a view to eliciting public opinion
through representatives on matters of public interest and importance. It consisted of 13
nominated members and 35 non-official members and was given the power to advise on matters
relating to medical facilities, sanitation, public works, roads, wells & buildings,
public education, rural upliftment, marketing, commerce & trade etc. It was
inaugurated on 18 March, 1940.
The House of
Representatives and the Vidhan Parishad were to be set up on 1 June, 1944 as per the
Jaipur Government Act, 1944. The House of Representatives was to consist of 120 elected
members and five nominated non-official members, out of a total of 145 members. And out of
51 members of the Vidhan Sabha, 37 members were to be elected and 14 were to be nominated.
They were to hold office for 3 years. The Prime Minister was to be appointed as the ex-officio
Chairman of both the Houses and senior most Ministers of the Executive Council were
to be appointed as the Deputy Chairmen of the House of Representatives and the Vidhan
Parishad respectively. They were to be elected on the basis of joint voters list. Seats
were also reserved for Muslims. It was incumbent that a candidate taking part in the
election should be a voter himself and should have the requisite qualification with regard
to age, education and citizenship. The Legislators had the freedom of speech and they
could not be arrested during the meetings of the House.
The Vidhan Parishad
had the powers to ask Questions, adopt Resolutions, to present more Adjournment Motions,
and to make laws. It was also given the powers to discuss the Budget and vote on it. But
it was beyond its power to enact laws with regard to the Maharaja and the Army of the
Under the pressure
of changed political situation in Udaipur, a Reforms Committee headed by Shri Gopal Singh
was constituted in May, 1946. The Committee consisted of official and non-official
members including five representative of the Praja Mandal. The Committee submitted its
report on 29 September, 1946. It was recommended in the report that a Constituent Assembly
should be constituted to prepare a Constitution for Mewar that the Constituent Assembly
was to consist of 50 members and each member was to be elected from a constituency
consisting of fifteen thousand voters. The office of the Chairman was to be held by the
Maharana himself and the Vice-Chairman was to be elected by the members. The Reforms
Committee of the year 1946 had also recommended to the Maharana that a responsible
Government may be set up in Mewar and the Maharana may entrust his powers to that
Government. But the Maharana did not accept this recommendation.
Maharana had eventually to agree to the setting up of an Executive Council in October,
1946, to which he appointed Shri Mohan Lal Sukhadia and Shri Hira Lal Kothari as the
representatives of the Praja Mandal and Shri Raghubir Singh as the representative of the
Regional Council. Besides, the Maharana declared to enforce Constitutional reforms
expeditiously. On 16 February 1946, in accordance with the commitment, the Maharana
promised to constitute a Vidhan Sabha.
Singh announced certain reforms on 3 March, 1947. According to these reforms a Vidhan
Sabha consisting of 46 elected members and some non-official members was constituted. The
Vidhan Sabha was given the powers to enact laws on all such matters which had not been
kept out of its jurisdiction in particular. The Vidhan Sabha was empowered under certain
restrictions, to discuss and vote on the Budget. The responsibility to implement the
decisions taken by the Vidhan Sabha was bestowed on Ministers.
In persuance of the
decision announced by Maharaja Kishan Singh on 2 March 1927 regarding setting up of a
"Governing Committee" a Governing Committee Constitution Law, 1927 was enforced
on 27 September, 1927. But the Committee could not be constituted due to the demise of the
Maharaja and the administration of the State came under the Department of Political
Affairs of the Indian Government.
after the announcement for holding the elections for the Committee, the officials of the
State decided to merge the State with Matsya Union. Maharaja Ishwar Singh of Bundi set up
the 'Dhara Sabha" on 18 October, 1943. It consisted of 23 members out of which 12
were elected members and 11 were nominated members. The members of the Tehsil Advisory
Boards and the Town Council elected members to the `Sabha'. The Dhara Sabha had the power
to ask questions to the Government and to adopt Resolutions on matter of Public interest.
The Committee did not possess any constitutional and economic powers. Its status was not
higher than that of an Advisory Committee.
The Maharaja of
Banswara formed a "Rajya Parishad" on 3 February, 1939. All the 32 members of
the Council were nominated members which included seven employees and eight `Jagirdars'.
The`Rajya Parishad' had the power to put questions, adopt Resolutions and enforce laws
with the assent of the Maharaja. The `Diwan' of the State was the ex-officio
Chairman of the 'Parishad'. Thereafter, in pursuance of the wishes of the Maharaja,
The State Constitution Act, 1946 was implemented in order to bring changes in the
organisation of the `Parishad.' According to the provisions of this Act, out of 35 members
of the Vidhan Sabha, 32 were to be elected members and 3 ministers of the State Council
were to be ex-officio members; and the power of the Vidhan Sabha were to be the
same as that of the earlier `Parishad'. The elections to the Vidhan Sabha were held in
September, 1947 in which the Praja Mandal of Banswara got the majority. The session of the
Vidhan Sabha was inaugurated on 18 March, 1948. It was decided to summon the Budget
Session on 30 March, 1948 but The Banswara State got merged into the Rajasthan Union
before that date. The Ajmer State was known as Ajmer-Marwar Pradesh before the
commencement of the constitution of India. After the inclusion of the Ajmer State in the
first schedule of the Constitution as category `C' State, the Legislative Assembly was set
up in May, 1952 with the election of 30 members from 6 double member and 18 single-member
constituencies of the Ajmer State Legislative Assembly.
Legislative Assembly had Committees like The Estimates Committee, The Public Accounts
Committee, The Privilege Committee, The Assurance Committee and The Petition Committee.
The Ajmer Legislative Assembly met on 4, 5 and 6 April, 1956 to consider the States
Reorganisation Bill, 1956 and it approved the merger of The Ajmer State into the Rajasthan
State on November, 1956 and the members of its Legislative Assembly were duly treated as
members of the first Rajasthan State Legislative Assembly for its remaining term.