Special provision with respect to the States of Maharashtra and Gujarat
(2) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, the President may by order made with respect to the State of Maharashtra or Gujarat, provide for any special responsibility of the Governor for—
(a) the establishment of separate development boards for Vidarbha, Marathwada, and the rest of Maharashtra or, as the case may be, Saurashtra, Kutch and the rest of Gujarat with the provision that a report on the working of each of these boards will be placed each year before the State Legislative Assembly;
(b) the equitable allocation of funds for developmental expenditure over the said areas, subject to the requirements of the State as a whole; and
(c) an equitable arrangement providing adequate facilities for technical education and vocational training, and adequate opportunities
for employment in services under the control of the State Government, in respect of all the said areas, subject to the requirements of the State as a whole.
Article 371, Constitution of India 1950
Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, during a period of ten years from the commencement thereof, or during such longer or shorter period as Parliament may by law provide in respect of any State, the Government of every State specified in Part B of the First Schedule shall be under the general control of, and comply with such particular directions, if any, as may from time to time be given by, the President:
Provided that the President may by order direct that the provisions of this article shall not apply to any State specified in the order.
Draft Article 306B (Article 371, Constitution of India 1950) was debated in the Constituent Assembly on 13 October 1949. It declared that for a period of ten years after the Constitution was introduced, the Government of every State mentioned in Part III of First Schedule of the Draft Constitution 1948 would be under the general control and supervision of the Central Government. The Draft Article further specified that a failure of any State to abide by these provisions would be taken as a failure of the State to act in accordance with the Constitution.
Many Members welcomed the provisions of the Draft Article. One Member wanted the power of central control and supervision of the States to continue beyond ten years and be extended for an indefinite period. He believed that ten years was not sufficient time to solve the problems of the States. A few Members noted the stark difference in the conditions of the Provinces and the States as an indication that the Draft Article was necessary. They argued that the States were administratively and politically less experienced than the Provinces.
One Member added that the Draft Article was a preventive measure that would allow the Centre to intervene in the administration of States if extraordinary circumstances were to arise. Another Member also cautioned the Assembly to the fact that many of these States were border States and considering the troubled relationship India shared with Pakistan, it would make sense to have greater central vigilance of these States.
One Member opposed the differential treatment meted out to the States in relation to the Provinces and claimed that the Draft Article went against democratic principles. According to him, the subordination of the States to the authority of the Centre meant that bureaucratic rule would dominate over any actual representative government in these States. Another Member echoed this sentiment, insisting that people of the States had always fought for a common Constitution assuming that “there would be no differentiation between the Provinces and States”. This Member was ready to accept the provisions of the Article for the overall stability of the country, but insisted that not all States in Part III of First Schedule should be brought under the provisions of the Draft Article.
Though multiple amendments were introduced in the Assembly, none were accepted. The Draft Article was adopted as a part of the Constitution on 13 October 1949.
Subsequent Parliamentary Acts including constitutional amendments such as the Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 and Constitutional Amendment Act, 1973 replaced Article 371 with a new Article and made significant changes to its provisions.