Reorganisation of States in India

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After independence, the demand for the reorganisation of states on linguistic basis was raised from different regions. The Constitution Assembly appointed S. K. Dhar Commission in Nov. 1947 to study the issue of reorganisation of States on linguistic basis. The commission in its report , submitted in 1948, recommended against the organisation of states purely on the basis. Instead, the commission suggested the following criteria along with language-

  1. Geographical contiguity
  2. Financial self-reliance
  3. Administrative viability
  4. Potential for development

The Congress, in its Jaipur session in 1948, appointed a three-member committee to consider the recommendations of Dhar Commission. The Committee is popularly known as JVP Committee after the name of its three members – Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabh Bhai Patel, and Pattabhi Sitarammaiah. The committee rejected language as the basis of reorganisation of states. It suggested that the security, unity, and economic prosperity of the nation as the criteria of reorganisation. The Congress Working Committee accepted its recommendation in 1949, but the demand for the linguistic reorganisation of States persisted in southern states particularly in Telugu speaking areas. As the agitation took a violent turn in Telugu speaking area, the Congress conceded the reorganisation of Telugu speaking area in the State of Andhra Pradesh in 1953.
To make an exhaustive study of the problem, the Government of India set-up State Reorganisation Commission in 1953 which was headed by Fazal Ali. The other members of the commission were Hriday Nath Kunzru and K M Panikkar. The commission, in its report submitted in 1955, accepted the language as the basis of reorganisation of the States. It suggested the reorganisation of 27 states of various categories into 16 states and 3 union territories. The State Reorganisation Act, 1956 was passed by parliament to give effect to the recommendations of the commission.

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