Central Legislative Assembly
|Imperial Legislative Council|
Star of India
|Succeeded by||Constituent Assembly of India|
|First Past the Post|
|1920 Indian general election|
|1945 Indian general election|
|Heaven's Light Our Guide|
|House of Parliament, New Delhi, India|
The Central Legislative Assembly was the lower house of the Imperial Legislative Council, the legislature of British India. It was created by the Government of India Act 1919, implementing the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms. It was also sometimes called the Indian Legislative Assembly and the Imperial Legislative Assembly. The Council of State was the upper house of the legislature for India.
As a result of Indian independence, the Legislative Assembly was dissolved on 14 August 1947 and its place taken by the Constituent Assembly of India and the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.
The new Assembly was the lower house of a bicameral parliament, with a new Council of State as the upper house, reviewing legislation passed by the Assembly. However, both its powers and its electorate were limited.
The Assembly had 145 members who were either nominated or indirectly elected from the provinces.
The nominated members were officials or non-officials and nominated by the Government of India and the provinces
There were a total of 26 nominated officials out of which 14 were nominated by the Government of India from the Viceroy's Executive Council, Council of State and from the Secretariat. The other 12 came from the provinces. Madras, Bombay and Bengal nominated two officials while United Provinces, Punjab, Bihar & Orissa, Central Provinces, Assam and Burma nominated one each.
There were a total of 15 nominated non-officials out of which 5 were nominated by the Government of India representing five special interests namely Associated Chambers of Commerce, Indian Christians, Labour interests, Anglo-Indians and the Depressed Classes. The other 10 non-officials were nominated from the provinces namely two from Bengal, United Provinces and Punjab and one each from Bombay, Bihar & Orissa, Berar and the North West Frontier Province.
Initially, of its 142 members, 101 were elected and 41 were nominated. Of the 101 elected members, 52 came from general constituencies, 29 were elected by Muslims, 2 by Sikhs, 7 by Europeans, 7 by landlords, and 4 by business men.Later, one seat each was added for Delhi, Ajmer-Merwara and the North West Frontier Province.
The constituencies were divided as follows:
|Province||Seats||Names of Constituencies|
|Assam||4||General (2): Assam Valley, Surma Valley with Shillong|
Muslim: Assam Muhammadan
|Bengal||16||General (6): Calcutta Urban (1), Calcutta suburbs (Hoogly, Haorah, 24 Pargana Dist Municipal) (1), Calcutta Rural, Presidency Division (1), Burdwan Division (excluding Hoogly and Howrah Dist) (1), Dacca Division (1), Chittagong Rajshahi Division (1)|
Muslim (5): Calcutta and suburbs (Hoogly, Haorah, 24 Pargana Dist) (1), Burdwan and Calcutta Presidency Division (1), Dacca Division (1), Chittagong Division (1), Rajshahi Division (1)
Europeans in Bengal Presidency (2)
Landholders Bengal (1)
Commerce (2): Indian Chambers of Commerce (1), Rotation: Bengal Chambers of Commerce or Marwari Association or Bengal Mahajan Sabha (1)
|Bihar and Orissa||12||General (8): Tirhut Division (2), Orissa (2), Patna with Shahabad (1), Gaya with Monghyr (1), Bhagalpur Purnea and the Santhal Parganas (1), Chota Nagpur Division (1)|
Muslim (3): Patna and Chota Nagpur cum Orissa (1), Bhagalpur Division (1), Tirhut Division (1)
Bihar and Orissa Landholders (1)
|Bombay||16||General (8): Bombay City Urban (2), Sind (1), Northern Division (2), Southern Division (1), Central (2) |
Muslim (4): Bombay City Urban (1), Sind Urban (1), Sind Rural in rotation with Northern Division (1), Central Division in rotation with Southern Division (1)
Europeans in Presidency (1)
Commerce (2) Indian Merchants Chamber (1), The Bombay Millowners' Association or The Ahmedabad Millowners' Association (1)
Landholders Rotation (1): Sind Jagirdars & Zamindars or Gujarat & Deccan Sardars & Inamdars
|Burma||4||General (3) |
|Central Provinces||5||General (3): Nagpur Division (1), Central Provinces Hindi Division (The Narmada, Jabalpur and Chhattisgarh Divisions) (2) |
|Madras||16||General (11): Madras City Urban (1), Madras Districts Rural (1), Ganjam cum Vizagapatnam (1), Godavari cum Krishna (1), Guntur cum Nellore (1), Chittoor cum Ceded Dists (Anantpur, Bellary, Cuddapah, Kurnool) (1), Salem, Coimbatore cum North Arcot (1), Chingleput cum South Arcot (1), Tanjore cum Trichinopoly (1), Madurai, Ramnad cum Tinnevelly (1), Nilgiris and West Coast (Malabar, Anjengo, S. Canara) (1)|
Muslim (3): North Madras (Ganjam, Vizgapatam, Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, Anantapur, Bellary, Cuddapah, Kurnool and Chittoor) (1), South Madras (Chingleput, Madras, Arcot, North & South Coimbatore, Tanjore, Trichinopoly, Madurai) (1), Nilgiris and W. Coast (Malabar, S. Canara) (1)
Europeans in Presidency (1)
Landholders in Presidency (1)
|Punjab||12||General (3): Ambala Division (1), Jullundur Division (1), West Punjab (Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan) Division (1) |
Muslim (6): East Punjab (Ambala, Kangra, Hoshiarpur, Jullunder, Ludhiana) (1), East Central Punjab (Ferozepur, Lahore, Amritsar and Gurdaspur) (1), West Central Punjab (Sialkot, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura and Lyallpur) (1), North Punjab (Gujrat, Jhelum and Rawalpindi) (1), North- West Punjab (Attock, Mianwali, Shahpur and Jhang) (1), South-West Punjab (Multan, Montgomery, Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan) (1)
Sikh (2): East Punjab (Ambala and Jullundur Division) (1), West Punjab (Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan) (1)
Punjab Landholders (1)
|United Provinces||16||General (8) Cities of UP (Agra, Meerut, Cawnpore, Benares, Allahabad, Bareilly, Lucknow) (1), Meerut Division (excluding Municipality and Cantonment) (1), Agra Division (1), Rohilkhand and Kumaon Division (1), Allahabad Jhansi Division (1), Benares Gorakhpur Division (1), Lucknow Division (1), Faizabad Division (1)|
Muslim (6): Cities of U.P (1), Meerut Division (1), Agra (1), Rohilkhand and Kumaon Division (1), Lucknow and Faizabad (1), Southern Division (Allahabad, Benares, Gorakhpur) (1)
European U. P. (1)
Landholders U P (1)
The Government of India Act 1935 introduced further reforms. The Assembly continued as the lower chamber of a central Indian parliament based in Delhi, with two chambers, both containing elected and appointed members. The Assembly increased in size to 250 seats for members elected by the constituencies of British India, plus a further 125 seats for the Indian Princely states. However, elections for the reformed legislature never took place.
The Central Legislative Assembly met in the Council Hall and later to the Viceregal Lodge in Old Delhi both of which are now located in Delhi University.A new "Council House" was conceived in 1919 as the seat of the future Legislative Assembly, the Council of State, and the Chamber of Princes. The foundation stone was laid on 12 February 1921 and the building was opened on 18 January 1927 by Lord Irwin, the Viceroy and Governor-General. The Council House later changed its name to Parliament House, or Sansad Bhavan , and is the present-day home of the Parliament of India.
The Assembly, the Council of State, and the Chamber of Princes were officially opened in 1921 by King George V's uncle, the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
The first elections to the new legislatures took place in November 1920 and proved to be the first significant contest between the Moderates and the Non-cooperation movement, whose aim was for the elections to fail. The Non-cooperators were at least partly successful in this, as out of almost a million electors for the Assembly, only some 182,000 voted.
After the withdrawal of the non-cooperation movement, a group within the Indian National Congress formed the Swaraj Party and contested the elections in 1923 and 1926. The Swaraj Party led by Motilal Nehru as the leader of the Opposition was able to secure the defeat, or at least the delay, of finance bills and other legislation. However, after 1926, the members of the Swaraj Party either joined the government or returned to the Congress which continued its boycott of the legislature during the Civil Disobedience Movement.
In 1934, the Congress ended its boycott of the legislatures and contested the elections to the fifth Central Legislative Assembly held that year.
The last elections to the assembly were held in 1945.
The electorate of the Assembly was never more than a very small fraction of the population of India. In the British House of Commons on 10 November 1942, the Labour MP Seymour Cocks asked the Secretary of State for India Leo Amery "What is the electorate for the present Central Legislative Assembly?" and received the written answer "The total electorate for the last General Election (1934) for the Central Legislative Assembly was 1,415,892."
The presiding officer (or speaker) of the Assembly was called the President. While the Government of India Act 1919 provided for the President to be elected, it made an exception in the case of the first President, who was to be appointed by the Government. The Governor-General appointed Frederick Whyte, a former Liberal member of the British House of Commons who had been a parliamentary private secretary to Winston Churchill.Sachchidananda Sinha was the Deputy President of Assembly in 1921.
Ganesh Vasudev Mavlankar was the last President of the Assembly till the Assembly came to an end on 14 August 1947. He became the first Speaker of the Constituent Assembly of India, and in 1952 the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha , the lower house of the Parliament of India.
|1||Frederick Whyte||3 February 1921 – 23 August 1925|
|2||Vithalbhai Patel||24 August 1925 – April 1930|
|3||Sir Muhammad Yakub||9 July 1930 – 31 July 1931|
|4||Ibrahim Rahimtoola||17 January 1931 – 7 March 1933|
|5||R. K. Shanmukham Chetty||14 March 1933 – 31 December 1934|
|6||Sir Abdur Rahim||24 January 1935 – 1 October 1945|
|7||Ganesh Vasudev Mavlankar||24 January 1946 – 14 August 1947|
|1||Sachchidananda Sinha||February 1921 – September 1921|
|2||Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy||September 1921 – 1923|
|3||T. Rangachari||February 1924 – 1926|
|4||Sir Muhammad Yakub||January 1927 – 1930|
|5||Hari Singh Gour||July 1930|
|6||R. K. Shanmukham Chetty||January 1931 – March 1933|
|7||Abdul Matin Chaudhury||March 1933 – 1934|
|8||Akhil Chandra Datta||February 1934 – 1945|
|9||Muhammad Yamin Khan||February 1946 – 1947|
As per the Indian Independence Act 1947, the Central Legislative Assembly and the Council of States ceased to exist and the Constituent Assembly of India became the central legislature of India.
The Indian National Congress is a political party in India with widespread roots. Founded in 1885, it was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa. From the late 19th century, and especially after 1920, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, Congress became the principal leader of the Indian independence movement. Congress led India to independence from Great Britain, and influenced other anti-colonial nationalist movements in the British Empire.
The Governor-General of India was the representative of the monarch of the United Kingdom and after Indian independence in 1947, the representative of the Indian head of state. The office was created in 1773, with the title of Governor-general of the Presidency of Fort William. The officer had direct control only over Fort William, but supervised other East India Company officials in India. Complete authority over all of British India was granted in 1833, and the official came to be known as the "governor-general of India".
The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India. It is a bicameral legislature composed of the President of India and the two houses: the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. The President in his role as head of legislature has full powers to summon and prorogue either house of Parliament or to dissolve Lok Sabha. The president can exercise these powers only upon the advice of the Prime Minister and his Union Council of Ministers.
Motilal Nehru was an Indian lawyer, activist and politician belonging to the Indian National Congress. He also served as the Congress President twice, 1919–1920 and 1928–1929. He was a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family and the father of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.
Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, KCSI, PC was a prominent Indian freedom fighter, lawyer and politician. He was a key figure in India's struggle for independence, helping draft the Indian Constitution. He was the leader of the Liberal party in British-ruled India.
The Constituent Assembly of India was elected to write the Constitution of India. Following India's independence from British Government in 1947, its members served as the nation's first Parliament.
The three Round Table Conferences of 1930–32 were a series of peace conferences organized by the British Government and Indian political personalities to discuss constitutional reforms in India. These started in November 1930 and ended in December 1932. They were conducted as per the recommendation of Jinnah to Viceroy Lord Irwin and Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, and by the report submitted by the Simon Commission in May 1930. Demands for Swaraj, or self-rule, in India had been growing increasingly strong. B. R. Ambedkar, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Mahatma Gandhi, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, V. S. Srinivasa Sastri, Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan and Mirabehn are key participants from India. By the 1930s, many British politicians believed that India needed to move towards dominion status. However, there were significant disagreements between the Indian and the British political parties that the Conferences would not resolve. The key topic was about constitution and India which was mainly discussed in that conference. There were three Round Table Conferences from 1930 to 1932.
The Swaraj Party was established as the Congress-Khilafat Swaraj Party. It was a political party formed in India in January 1923 after the Gaya annual conference in December 1922 of the National Congress, that sought greater self-government and political freedom for the Indian people from the British Raj.
Sir Ramasamy Chetty Kandasamy Shanmukham ChettyKCIE was an Indian lawyer, economist and politician who served as independent India's first finance minister from 1947 to 1949. He also served as President of India's Central Legislative Assembly from 1933 to 1935 and Diwan of Cochin kingdom from 1935 to 1941.
Seshadri Srinivasa Iyengar CIE, also seen as Sreenivasa Iyengar and Srinivasa Ayyangar, was an Indian lawyer, freedom-fighter and politician from the Indian National Congress. Iyengar was the Advocate-General of Madras Presidency from 1916 to 1920. He also served as a member of the bar council from 1912 to 1920, the law member of Madras Presidency from 1916 to 1920 and as the president of the Swarajya Party faction of the Indian National Congress from 1923 to 1930. Srinivasa Iyengar was the son-in-law of renowned lawyer and first Indian Advocate-general of Madras, Sir Vembaukum Bhashyam Aiyangar. Iyengar's followers called him Lion of the South.
Rafi Ahmed Kidwai was a politician, an Indian independence activist and a socialist, sometimes described as an Islamic socialist He hailed from Barabanki District of United Provinces, now Uttar Pradesh, in north India.
Paramasivan Subbarayan was an Indian politician, freedom fighter and diplomat and was the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency, India's ambassador to Indonesia and Union Minister of Transport and Communications in Jawaharlal Nehru's government. He was the father of General P. P. Kumaramangalam who served as India's Chief of Army staff and politician & former Union Minister Mohan Kumaramangalam. He was also the grandfather of INC politician and former Union Minister Rangarajan Kumaramangalam.
Tamil Nadu Legislative Council was the upper house of the former bicameral legislature of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It began its existence as Madras Legislative Council, the first provincial legislature for Madras Presidency. It was initially created as an advisory body in 1861, by the British colonial government. It was established by the first Indian Council Act of 1861, enacted in the British parliament in the aftermath of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Its role and strength were later expanded by the second Council Act of 1892. Limited election was introduced in 1909. The Council became a unicameral legislative body in 1921 and eventually the upper chamber of a bicameral legislature in 1937. After India became independent in 1947, it continued to be the upper chamber of the legislature of Madras State, one of the successor states to the Madras Presidency. It was renamed as the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council when the state was renamed as Tamil Nadu in 1969. The Council was abolished by the M. G. Ramachandran administration on 1 November 1986. In 2010 the DMK regime headed by M. Karunanidhi tried to revive the Council. The current AIADMK regime has expressed its intention not to revive the council and has passed a resolution in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in this regard.
The Imperial Legislative Council was a legislature for British India from 1861 to 1947. It succeeded the Council of the Governor-General of India, and was succeeded by the Constituent Assembly of India and after 1950, was succeeded by Parliament of India.
The Council of State was the upper house of the legislature for British India created by the Government of India Act 1919 from the old Imperial Legislative Council, implementing the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms. The Central Legislative Assembly was the lower house.
The second legislative council election to Madras Presidency after the establishment of diarchical system of government by the Government of India Act, 1919 was held in 1923. Voter turnout was higher than the previous election. Swarajists, a breakaway group from Indian National Congress participated in the election. The ruling Justice Party had suffered a split, when a splinter group calling themselves anti-Ministerialists left the party. It won the highest number of seats but fell short of a majority. Nevertheless, Madras Governor Willington invited it to form the government. Incumbent Justice chief minister Panagal Raja was nominated by party leader Theagaraya Chetty to continue as chief minister for a second term. The government survived a no-confidence motion, brought against it on the very first day of its tenure by the opposition headed by C. R. Reddy.
Diarchy was established in Madras Presidency based on the recommendations of the Montague-Chelmsford report. Five elections were held during the period diarchy was in effect and Justice Party occupied power most of the time. It ended with the election in 1937 when the Government of India Act 1935 came into effect.
General elections were held in British India in November 1923 for both the Central Legislative Assembly and Provincial Assemblies. The Central Legislative Assembly had 145 seats, of which 105 were elected by the public.
General elections were held in British India between 28 October and late November 1926 to elect members of the Imperial Legislative Council and the Provincial Legislative Councils.
The Legislatures of British India included legislative bodies in the presidencies and provinces of British India, the Imperial Legislative Council, the Chamber of Princes and the Central Legislative Assembly. The legislatures were created under Acts of Parliament of the United Kingdom. Initially serving as small advisory councils, the legislatures evolved into partially elected bodies, but were never elected through suffrage. Provincial legislatures saw boycotts during the period of dyarchy between 1919 and 1935. After reforms and elections in 1937, the largest parties in provincial legislatures formed governments headed by a Prime Minister. A few British Indian subjects were elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which had superior powers than colonial legislatures. British Indian legislatures did not include Burma's legislative assembly after 1937, the State Council of Ceylon nor the legislative bodies of princely states.
The introduction of a 'two-house' parliamentary system, with a Council of State and a Central Legislative Assembly.