The first formal demand for the Constituent Assembly was made at the Swaraj Party Conference on 3rd May, 1934 which rejected the White Paper proposals (which was incorporated in the Government of India Act, 1935). The plan formulated by the Cabinet Mission (comprising of Frederick Pethick-Lawrence, the Secretary of State and two cabinet ministers Sir Stanfford Cripps and A.V. Alexander) famously know as the Cabinet Mission Plan, 1946 created the Constituent Assembly of India. The Assembly was recognized by Section 8 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947.

Under the Plan, the members of the 1946 Provincial Legislative Assemblies, who were elected by limited franchise, would select the members of the Constituent Assembly through a single transferrable vote. Additionally, a Negotiating Committee worked to involve the Princely States in the Constituent Assembly.

The majority of the members elected to Constituent Assembly were male Hindus. However, there were 15 women representatives to the Assembly, and all major religious communities were represented by at least two members from each community. Although 80% of the Assembly were members of the Congress party, there was a great deal of ideological diversity within the party itself, resulting in the representation of a range of ideologies such as socialism, liberalism, and conservatism in the Assembly.

On 9th December 1946, the Constituent Assembly of India met for the first time in the Constitution Hall now popularly referred to as Central Hall of Parliament House. 207 members were present who signed the register and submitted their credentials. As of December 1947, the Assembly had 299 members: 229 members elected from 12 Indian Provinces and 70 members nominated from 29 Princely States.

 

Constituent Assembly Members

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