Bimala Prasad Chaliha

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Bimala Prasad Chaliha
Chief Minister of Assam
In office
28 December 1957 – 6 November 1970
Preceded byBishnu Ram Medhi
Succeeded byMahendra Mohan Choudhury
Personal details
Born26 March 1912
Died25 February 1971(1971-02-25) (aged 58)
Political partyIndian National Congress
AwardsPadma Vibhushan (1971)

Bimala Prasad Chaliha (26 March 1912 – 25 February 1971) was a Leader of Indian National Congress and a freedom fighter who was put behind bar in the Jorhat Jail in 1942 for active participation in Mahatma Gandhi's call of Quit India to the British Govt. He was elected to the post of Chief Minister for three five years terms of Assam State, once from Badarpur Constituency and twice from Sonari Constituency. He was in office from 28 December 1957 to 6 November 1970. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1971.

During his tenure as the Chief Minister, the Assam Official Language Act, 1960 was enacted, which made Assamese language the sole official language of the state. During his terms the Chinese attacked India at Bomdilla then called NEFA now known as Arunachal Pradesh. He strongly opposed the division of Assam State into smaller states like Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya and was member in various Committees of India's Central Government. Only after his death the State of Assam was broken down into smaller States. The March 1966 Mizo National Front uprising also happened during his tenure. Earlier he was instrumental in promoting the Plantations Labour Act, 1951 and corresponding Assam Plantations Labour Rules, 1956 to safeguard the interest of the Tea Plantation Workers of Assam. During his second term as Chief Minister the issue of illegal migration from then East Bengal came up, he claimed there were 300,000 illegal entrants in Assam, and he took active steps to deport them in his third term.