First CM of Punjab


Dr. Gopi Chand Bhargava was the first CM of Punjab. Do you know who was the first lady chief minister of Punjab, first akali CM, first chief minister before independence etc? This page will answer all these questions. If you want to gain more knowledge about this topic, let us go over some in-depth details about it. The details are given in order of historical events like formation of Punjab Legislative Council in 1935, independence of India in 1947, formation of PEPSU state in 1948, merging of PEPSU with Punjab in 1956 and division of Punjab in 1966 to form today's state of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

First CM of Punjab (Before Independence)
Punjab Legislative Council (Punjab Assembly or Punjab Vidhan Sabha) was formed under the Government of India Act of 1935 and the first elections were held in 1937. In these elections, Unionist Party won 95 seats and its leader Sir Sikander Hayat Khan formed the government and became the first Premier of Punjab province. The post of Premier is same as that of Chief Minister in today's terms.

First CM of Punjab (After Independence)
With the independence of India in 1947, there came the partition of Punjab into East Punjab (today's state of Punjab in India) and West Punjab (Punjab province in Pakistan). Dr. Gopi Chand Bhargava was elected as the leader of assembly of East Punjab and hence became the first CM of Punjab after independence.
Some details about Dr. Gopi Chand Bhargava : He was born in 1889 in Sarsa district of undivided Punjab, which is now in Haryana. He passed MBBS from Medical College, Lahore in 1912 and started medical profession in 1913. He belonged to Indian National Cogress (INC) and became chief minister of the state for three times. He first became chief minister of Punjab on 15 August, 1947 and was in the chair till 13 April, 1949. Then he again became CM of the state for second time from 18 October, 1949 to 20 June 1951. On 21 June, 1964 he became the cm of Punjab for the third time and remained the chief minister till 6 July, 1964. He died on 26 December, 1966.

First CM of PEPSU
When India got independence, there were many princely states which were ruled by Kings or Nawabs and were not under the rule of Government of India. The control of such states, falling within the boundary of India, was taken over by the government. In 1948, eight princely states of Punjab region were merged to form a new state named PEPSU (Patiala and East Punjab States Union). These states were - 1. Patiala, 2. Jind, 3. Nabha, 4. Faridkot, 5. Kapurthala, 6. Kalsian, 7. Malerkotla, 8. Nalagarh. Gian Singh Rarewala was the first chief minister of PEPSU. He was the first non-Congress chief minister of any state in independent India.

CM during reorganization of Punjab in 1956
On 1 November 1956, PEPSU state was merged with larger state of Punjab under the States Reorganization Act of 1956. This merger was done on the recommendations of States Reorganization Commission, which was formed to recommend the restructuring of states of India. Partap Singh Kairon was the chief minister of Punjab at that time. The leaders of the PEPSU assembly were included into Punjab assembly and the then chief minister of PEPSU Gian Singh Rarewala was included as a cabinet minister in Punjab government headed by Kairon as chief minister. At the time of becoming CM, he was MLA from Patti constituency in Tarn Taran district.

Division of Punjab and first CM of new Punjab
In 1966, then state of Punjab was divided into Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh on linguistic basis. The division was made effective through The Punjab Reorganization Act 1966. Hence the today's state of Punjab came into existence on 1 November 1966 and this day is celebrated every year as New Punjab Day. Ram Kishan was the last chief minister, till July 1966, before this divison and the state was under President's rule (from July 1966 till October 1966) at the time of divison. Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir became the first chief minister of new Punjab and he took the charge on 1 November 1966. He was a member of Indian National Congress. He was MLA from Amritsar.

First Akali CM of Punjab
In today's politics of Punjab, Shiromani Akali Dal is a major political party so some of the readers may be willing to know that who was the first cm from akali dal. Justice Gurnam Singh was the first akali chief minister of Punjab and he was in the office for less than a year, from 8 Mar 1967 to 25 Nov 1967. This was the first time when a non-congress government was formed in the state. At that time, today's Shiromani Akali Dal was divided into two factions Fateh Singh group and Master Tara Singh group. Justice Gurnam Singh belonged to Akali Dal (Sant Fateh Singh group). He again became chief minister of the state in February 1969, both the groups of akali dal were merged at this time. He was MLA from Kila Raipur assembly seat in Ludhiana district.

First Lady Chief Minister of Punjab
Smt. Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, MLA from Lehra Gaga in Sangrur district, was the first lady chief minister of Punjab and is the only women to become cm of this state till date. She is a senior leader of Indian National Congress. She was the chief minister for less than 3 months, from 21 November 1996 to 11 February 1997.

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