Integration of Princely States

EVOLUTION OF STATES AND UNION TERRITORIES

Integration of Princely States

At the time of independence, India comprised two categories of political units, namely, the British provinces (under the direct rule of British government) and the princely states (under the rule of native princes but subject to the paramountcy of the British Crown). The Indian Independence Act (1947) created two independent and separate dominions of India and Pakistan and gave three options to the princely states viz., joining India, joining Pakistan or remaining independent. Of the 552 princely states situated within the geographical boundaries of India, 549 joined India and the remaining 3 (Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir) refused to join India. However, in course of time, they were also integrated with India–Hyderabad by means of police action, Junagarh by means of referendum and Kashmir by the Instrument of Accession.

In 1950, the Constitution contained a four-fold classification of the states and territories of the Indian Union–Part A, Part B and Part C states and Part D territories. In all, they numbered 29. Part A states comprised nine erstwhile governor’s provinces of British India. Part B states consisted of nine erstwhile princely states with legislatures. Part C states consisted of erstwhile chief commissioner’s provinces of British India and some of the erstwhile princely states. These Part C states (in all 10 in number) were centrally administered. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands were kept as the solitary Part D territories.

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