Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly celebrating its Golden Jubilee, and to mark the occasion, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar will address a special session of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly here on October 21.

In a press conference, HP Assembly Speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail apprised that the special function would be graced by Speakers from the adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu-Kashmir and about 130 former legislators of the Assembly would be present at the occasion. President of India Pranab Mukherjee had addressed a special session of the Assembly on May 24 this year as part of the celebrations.

On the occasion all the former Speakers and MLAs will be honoured and some of the oldest members of the Assembly in 1952 and 1957 would be attending the function. Speaker added that a coffee table book, detailing the journey and historic moments of the HP Assembly would be released and a short documentary shown on the occasion.

Butail claimed that the Himachal Assembly was known for the high standards of debate, decorum and maintaining democratic traditions. “Till date the HP Assembly has passed 1,125 Bills tabled in the House and never has a no-confidence motion moved here succeeded,” he stated. He said the strength of the 43-member Assembly and later territorial Assembly was raised to the present 68 in 1963.

The legislative assembly of Himachal Pradesh first came into being when HP became a centrally administered territory on April 15, 1948 after the integration of 30 erstwhile princely states. It was administered by a Chief Commissioner, aided by an advisory council consisting of nine members, three of whom represented the erstwhile princely states and six were people’s representatives.

In 1951, it became a part ‘C’ State. Himachal Pradesh now had a Lt.Governor with 36 members in the legislative assembly. The first election to the Assembly was held in 1952. In 1954 Bilaspur, another part-C State was merged with Himachal Pradesh and the strength of the assembly was raised to 41.

In 1963 a bill was passed by Parliament for providing Legislative Assemblies and Council of Ministers to certain Union Territories including H.P. On July 1, 1963, the Territorial Council was converted into a Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory. The strength of the Assembly was fixed at 43 including 2 nominated members.

The Assembly held its first sitting on October 1, 1963. With the merger of new areas into Himachal Pradesh in 1966, the number of members rose to 56 including 2 nominated. The strength of the House was further raised to 63 (60 elected and 3 nominated) after Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966 came into force in 1967.

Finally it was on January 25, 1971 Himachal Pradesh became a full-fledged state. After delimitation of assembly seats in 1971-72, the numbers of members in the assembly went up to 68, which remains the same till date, representing 12 districts.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.