Idea of a Constituent Assembly was Put forward for the first time by M.N Roy.
M.N ROY was a pioneer of communist movement in India. He was also an Advocate of Radical Democracy.
Indian National Congress, for the first time,officially demanded a constituent assembly to frame constitution of India.
Jawaharlal Nehru on behalf of Indian National Congress declared that ‘the constitution of free India must be framed, without outside interference , by a constituent assembly elected on the basis of adult franchise‘.
The demand was finally accepted in principle by British government. It is known as August Offer.
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. Which will be adopted after World War II.
All India Muslim League
It wanted India to be divided into two autonomous states with two separate constituent assemblies. It also rejected the Cripps Proposal.
1946, Cabinet Mission to India
It rejected the idea of two constituent assemblies. It put forth a scheme for the constituent assembly which mainly satisfied Muslim league.
Composition of the Constituent assembly
And finally Constituent Assembly formed in November 1946 under scheme formulated by the cabinet mission plan.
It has total strength of 389 seats which includes 296 from British India and 93 from Princely States.
296 of British India includes 292 seats from 11 Governor’s Provinces and 4 seats from 4 Chief Commissioner’s provinces.
- 1 seat allotted for every million population.
- Seat allocated to each British province were to be decided among three principle communities– Muslim,Sikhs and General(All except Muslim and Sikhs)
- 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 means of single transferable vote.
- The representatives of princely states were to be nominated by the heads of princely states.
The Election to the Constituent Assembly
For 296 seats allotted to the British Indian Province, Indian national congress won 208 seats, Muslim League won 73 seats and Small group/Independent won 15 seats.
However,93 seats allotted to the princely states were not filled as they decided to stay away from Constituent assembly.
Although Constituent Assembly was not directly elected by the people of India on the basis of adult franchise, comprising representatives of all section of Indian society like Hindus,Muslims,Sikhs,Parsis.Anglo-Indians,Indian Christians, SCs,STs including women of all these sections, The assembly included all important personalities of India at that time except Mahatma Gandhi and M A Jinnah.