Legislative Council of Eastern Bengal and Assam


The Eastern Bengal and Assam Legislative Council () was the
legislative council A legislative council is the legislature, or one of the legislative chambers, of a nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared terri ...
Eastern Bengal and Assam Eastern Bengal and Assam was an administrative subdivision (province) of the British India The provinces of India, earlier presidencies of British India and still earlier, presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British gover ...
, a province of the
British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in the Indian subcontinent. Collectively, they have been called British India. In one ...

British India
Bangladesh Bangladesh (, bn, , ), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in . It is the in the world, with a population exceeding 163 million people, in an area of , making it one of the in the world. Bangladesh shares land bor ...

Northeast India Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India representing both a geographic and political Administrative divisions of India, administrative division of the country. It comprises eight States and union ...

Northeast India
. It would meet in the Government House of
Dacca Dhaka ( or ; bn, ঢাকা, Ḍhākā, ), formerly known as Dacca, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger upperca ...
, the provincial capital. Its ex-officio head was the Lieutenant Governor of Eastern Bengal and Assam.


The first Legislative Council was formed under the
Indian Councils Act 1892 The Indian Councils Act 1892 was an Act of British Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies ...
. The Lt. Governor recommended members from the recommendations of District Boards, municipalities, landlords and chambers of commerce. The Lt. Governor required the assent of the
Viceroy of India The Governor-General of India (1773-1950, from 1858 to 1947 the Viceroy and Governor-General of India, commonly shortened to Viceroy of India) was the representative of the monarch of the United Kingdom and after Indian Independence Act 1947, ...
to appoint the nominees. The council was entitled to discuss budgets and make suggestions to the government, but lacked voting powers. Most members of the council were Europeans, with a minority being native Indian subjects.

Morley–Minto Reforms

Indian Councils Act 1909 The Indian Councils Act 1909 (9 Edw. 7 Ch. 4), commonly known as the Morley-Minto or Minto-Morley Reforms, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the Unit ...
, crafted by
John Morley John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn, (24 December 1838 – 23 September 1923) was a British Liberal Party (UK), Liberal statesman, writer and newspaper editor. Initially a journalist, he was elected a Member of Parliament (United K ...

John Morley
Lord Minto 250px, Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto Earl of Minto, in the County of Roxburgh, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom The Peerage of the United Kingdom comprises most peerages created in the United Kingdom of G ...
, ushered partially elected legislative councils. The reforms increased the representation of native subjects. Land owners received the
right to vote Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (although the term is sometimes used for any right to vote). In some languages, and occasionally in English, the right to vote is called ac ...
. Muslims were granted the right to a separate electorate, as part of affirmative action. The Legislative Council assembled for the purpose of making Laws and Regulations under the Provisions of the Indian Council Acts, 1861, 1892 and 1909. It advised the Executive Council of the Lt. Governor.


The council included 41 members after the Morley-Minto Reforms. Its composition is illustrated in the following. *Ex-officio Member **Lieutenant Governor *Nominated Members **A maximum of 17 from Officials **1 from Indian commerce **2 from Experts **A minimum of 2 from Others *Elected members **Port of Chittagong, Chittagong Port Commission **Municipalities **District and Local government, local boards **Zamindar, Landholders **Muslim, Muhammadans **Tea interest **Jute interest

Geographic coverage

East Bengal had the most seats on the council due to its large population. Colonial Assam, which covers the Indian states of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh; had 5 seats on the 41-member council due to its smaller population.

See also

* Legislatures of British India


{{reflist 1906 establishments in British India 1912 disestablishments in British India British India Northeast India History of Bangladesh Parliament of Bangladesh Historical legislatures History of Bengal History of Assam