What was the Constituent Assembly of India for?

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First day of Constituent Assembly of India. Fr...

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The Constituent Assembly of India was elected to write the Constitution of India, and served as its first Parliament as an independent nation. The Constituent Assembly of India was set up as a result of negotiations between the Indian leaders and members of the British Cabinet Mission. The constituent assembly was elected indirectly by the members of the Provincial legislative assembly. The Congress secured an overwhelming majority in the general seats while the Muslim League managed to sweep almost all the seats reserved for Muslims. The Congress had a majority of 69%. There were also members from smaller parties like the Scheduled Caste Federation, the Communist Party of India and the Unionist Party.

It first met on December 9, 1946 in Delhi, while India was still under British rule. It originally included the provinces that now compose Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the representation of the princely states of India. In June 1947, the delegations from the provinces of Sindh, East Bengal, Baluchistan, West Punjab and the North West Frontier Province formed the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in Karachi.

The final Constituent Assembly had two hundred and seven representatives, including fifteen women. Only 28 members of the Muslim League finally joined the Indian Assembly. Later, 93 members were nominated from the princely states. The Congress thus secured a majority of 82%. On August 15, 1947, India became an independent nation, and the Constituent Assembly became India’s Parliament.
Dr.Sachidananda Sinha was the first president of the Constituent Assembly when it met on December 9,1946 for irregular period. Dr. Rajendra Prasad then became the President of the Constituent Assembly, and would later become the first President of India. The Vice President of the Constituent Assembly was Professor Harendra Coomar Mookerjee, former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University and a prominent Christian from Bengal who also served as the Chairman of the Minorities Committee of the Constituent Assembly. He was appointed Governor of West Bengal after India became a republic.

The Assembly approved the Constitution on January 26, 1949, making it official. On January 26, 1950, the Constitution took effect — a day now commemorated as Republic Day nationwide. At this point, the Constituent Assembly became the Provisional Parliament of India, until the first elections under the new Constitution took place in 1952.


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