Who Was The First Chief Minister In India?

In India, the post of premieres which may be compared to modern day chief ministers was created with the enactment of the Government of India Act, 1919.  The states which were under the control of a governor were required to have a council of ministers headed by a prime minister. This post of prime minister or premier of a state was later converted into the chief minister.

who is the first chief minister of india

India is a union of 29 states. In order to know who the first chief minister in India was, we have to look at the history of the formation of Indian states. Legally, Indian states came into existence with the commencement of the constitution of India on 26th January 1950. At that time, Indian constitution contained 29 states placed under four categories or classification of states of the Indian Union-Part A,  Part B, Part C and Part D. But how many of them had chief ministers in 1950?

Part A states comprised 9 erstwhile governor’s provinces of British India like Assam, Bihar, Odisha, United Provinces, and West Bengal etc. Part B states contained 9 erstwhile princely states with legislatures. Chief Commissioner’s provinces of British India were renamed as Part C states. Part D state contained only Andaman and Nicobar Islands. With the implementation of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, the distinction between Part-A and Part-B states was done away. The category of Part-C states was discontinued and the sole member of Part-D was granted the status of Union Territory. This act created 14 states and 6 Union Territories in India on November 1, 1956.

Now coming back to the question, only these states (or provinces as the case may be) had chief ministers at the time of independence of India. On 15th August 1947, following provinces had chief ministers with a responsible and elected government:

  • Assam- Srijut Gopinath Bardoloi (15 Aug 1947 –  6 Aug 1950)
  • Bihar- Sri Krishna Sinha ( Aug 15, 1947 – 31 Jan 1961)
  • Central Provinces and Berar (later Madhya Pradesh)- Ravi Shankar Shukla (15 Aug 1947 – 31 Dec 1956)
  • Bombay- Balasaheb Gangadhar Kher (15 Aug 1947 – 21 Apr 1952)
  • Punjab-Gopi Chand Bhargava ( 1st tenure 15 Aug 1947 – 13 Apr 1949)
  • Madras (later Tamil Nadu)- P. Ramaswamy Reddiyar (15 Aug 1947 – 6 Apr 1949)
  • United Provinces (later Uttar Pradesh)- Govind Ballabh Pant (15 Aug 1947-28 Dec. 1954)
  • Odisha- Harekrushna Mahatab (15 Aug 1947 – 12 May 1950)
  • West Bengal-Prafulla Ghosh ( 1st Tenure-15 Aug 1947-14 Jan 1948)

So only the above-mentioned persons can be named as the first chief ministers in India representing different states.

List of First Chief Ministers of All Indian States

At the time of independence, there were only 9 provinces which consisted of responsible governments elected on the basis of elections. The States Reorganisation Act, 1956 created many other states on linguistic basis. Some states like Goa were granted freedom from foreign rule much later. Here is a list which contains the names and tenure of first chief ministers of all 29 Indian states:

First Chief Ministers of Indian States

S.No.           State Chief Minister Tenure
  1.   Andhra Pradesh Tanguturi Prakasam Period-1 Oct. 1953 – 5 Nov.1954
  2.   Arunachal Pradesh Prem Khandu  Thungon Period-13 Aug. 1975- 18 Sep. 1979
  3.   Assam Srijut Gopinath Bardoloi Period-15 Aug. 1947-  6 Aug 1950
  4.   Bihar Sri Krishna Sinha Period-15 Aug. 1947- 31 Jan. 1961
  5.   Chhattisgarh Ajit Jogi Period-1 Nov 2000 –  7 Dec. 2003
  6.   Goa Dayanand B. Bandodkar Period-8 June 1962 – 2 Dec. 1966
  7.   Gujarat Jivraj Mehta Period-1 May 1960-  18 Sept. 1963
  8.   Haryana  Bhagwat  Dayal Sharma Period-1 Nov. 1966- 24 March 1967
 9.   Himachal Pradesh Yashwant Singh Parmar Period-8 March 1952-1956
 10.  Jammu and Kashmir Gulam Muhammad Sadiq Period-30 March 1965 -12Dec.1971
 11.  Jharkhand Babulal   Marandi Period-15 Nov. 2000- 18 Mar. 2003
 12.  Karnataka K.Chengalaraya   Reddy Period-25 Oct. 1947- 30 Marc1952
13.  Kerala Patton Thanu Pillai Period-24 Mar. 1948 – 23 Oct.1948
14.  Madhya Pradesh Ravi Shankar Shukla Period-15 Aug. 1947- 31 Dec.1956
15.  Maharashtra Bal Gangadhar kher Period-15  Aug 1947 – 31Dec.1956
 16.  Manipur M. Koireng Singh Period-1 July 1963 – 12 Jan. 1967
 17.  Meghalaya Williamson A. Sangma  Period-2 Apr. 1970 – 8 March 1978
 18.  Mizoram  L . Chal. Chhunga Period- 3 May 1972- 10 May 1977
 19.  Nagaland  Shilu Ao Period-1 Dec. 1963 – 14 Aug. 1966
 20.  Punjab Gopalchand Bhargava Period-15 Aug  1947- 13 Apr. 1949
 22.  Sikkim Kazi Lhendup Dorjee Period-16 May 1975- 17 Aug. 1979
 23.  Tamil Naidu O.P.Ramaswamy Reddiyar Period-15 Aug. 1947- 6 April. 1949
 24.  Telangana Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao Period- 2 June 2014-Present
 25.  Tripura Sachindra Lal Singh Period-1 July 1963 – 1 Nov. 1971
 26.  Uttar Pradesh Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant Period-15 Aug. 1947- 6 April. 1949
 27.  Uttarakhand Nityanand Swami Period-9 Nov. 2000- 30 Oct. 2001
 28.  West Bengal Prafulla Chnadra Gosh Period-5 Aug. 1947- 14 Jan. 1948
 29  Rajasthan Bhim Singh Ji Period-25 March 1948 – 18 April. 1948

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