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TOPIC OF THE DAY

Making of the Constitution

  • The idea of a Constituent Assembly for India put forward by M. N. Roy in 1934.
  • In 1935, the Indian National Congress (INC), officially demanded a Constituent Assembly to frame the Constitution of India.
  • In 1938, Jawaharlal Nehru, declared that ‘the Constitution of free India must be framed, without outside interference, by a Constituent Assembly elected on the basis of adult franchise’.
  • In 1942, Sir Stafford Cripps, a member of the cabinet, came to India with a draft proposal of the British Government on the framing of an independent Constitution to be adopted after the World War II.
  • Cripps Proposals were rejected by the Muslim League which wanted India to be divided into two autonomous states with two separate Constituent Assemblies.
  • Cabinet Mission rejected the idea of two Constituent Assemblies, it put forward a scheme for the Constituent Assembly which more or less satisfied the Muslim League.
  • The total strength of the Constituent Assembly was to be 389. Of these, 296 seats were to be allotted to British India and 93 seats to the Princely States.
  • Out of 296 seats allotted to British India, 292 members were to be drawn from the eleven governors’ provinces and four from the four chief commissioners’ provinces, one from each.
  • Seats allocated to each British province were to be divided among the three principal communities—Muslims, Sikhs and general (all except Muslims and Sikhs), in proportion to their population.
  • The representatives of each community were to be elected by members of that community in the provincial legislative assembly and voting was to be by the method of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote.

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