Origin & Growth :
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
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
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
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 their expectation.
Maharaja Mansingh 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 State.
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.
However, the 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.
Maharana Bhupal 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
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.
But immediately 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
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.
The Ajmer 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.