Vindhya Pradesh (Hindi: विंध्य प्रदेश) is a former state of India. It occupied an area of 23,603 sq. miles. It was created in 1948, shortly after Indian independence, from the territories of the princely states in the eastern portion of the former Central India Agency. It was named for the Vindhya Range, which runs through the center of the province. The capital of the state was Rewa. It lay between Uttar Pradesh to the north and Madhya Pradesh to the south, and the enclave of Datia, which lay a short distance to the west, was surrounded by the state of Madhya Bharat.
Vindhya Pradesh state was formed on 12 March 1948 and the newly formed state was inaugurated on 4 April 1948. Following 35 princely states were merged to form Vindhya Pradesh state:
- Banka Paharee,
- Naigwan rewai,
- Taraun Pathraulee,
- Tauree Fatehpur.
On 25 January 1950, 10 erstwhile princely states, namely, Baihath, Banka Paharee, Baonee, Beri, Bijona, Charkharee, Jagnee, Samthar, Sareela and Tauree Fatehpur were transferred to Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Bharat. Vindhya Pradesh, together with the states of Madhya Bharat and Bhopal State, was merged into Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 1956.
After formation, the state was divided into two divisions, which were further divided into 8 districts.
The nominal heads of the state were the Rajpramukh from 1948–49, the Chief Commissioner from 1949-March, 1952 and the Lieutenant Governor from March, 1952-31 October 1956. The state had a Vidhan Sabha comprising 60 members elected from 48 constituencies (36 single-member and 12 double-member). There were 4 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state (2 single-member and 2 double-member).
Following the formation of the state in 1948, Martand Singh, the last ruler of the princely state of Rewa became the Rajpramukh and Yadvendra Singh, the last ruler of the princely state of Panna became the Uparajpramukh. Initially Awadhesh Pratap Singh became the Chief Minister of the Baghelkhand Division and Kamta Prasad Saxena became the Chief Minister of the Bundelkhand Division but soon Awadhesh Pratap Singh became the Chief Minister of the whole state. After he resigned on 14 April 1949, N.B. Bonerji, then Chief Commissioner took over on 15 April 1949. He was succeeded by S. N. Mehta. In the first general election in 1951, the Indian National Congress won 40 seats and the Socialist Party won 11 seats. S.N.Shukla of Indian National Congress became the Chief Minister of the state on 13 March 1952. He was in office till 31 October 1956.
Recent movement for separate state
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A demand for "Vindhya Pradesh" has been raised by the people from the region. After the merger with Madhya Pradesh in 1956, thousands of people had protested the move and were jailed. Many lost their lives. On 10 March 2000, the state assembly unanimously adopted the resolution to carve out a Vindhya state. The resolution had been forwarded to the central government in New Delhi and the centre is yet to make a decision on this.
- Bhattacharyya, P. K. (1977). Historical Geography of Madhya Pradesh from Early Records. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 54–5. ISBN 0 8426 909 1 Check
- "Statistical Report on General Election, 1951 to the Legislative Assembly of Vindhya Pradesh". Election Commission of India website.
- "Statistical Report on General Elections, 1951 to the First Lok Sabha". Election Commission of India website.