The Government of India Act, 1935 was adopted by the British
Parliament on 2nd August, 1935 and was implemented in 1937. The
Government of India Act 1935 made provisions for a Legislative
Assembly in each province and as a result the Legislature in Assam
became bicameral. The Assam Legislative Assembly had the strength of
108 members and all of them were elected members. the strength of the
Legislative Council (Upper House) was not less than 21 and not more
than 22 members.
After the partition of India, Sylhet district of Assam was transferred
to the then East Pakistan by a referendum and the strength of the
Assembly was reduced to 71. However, after Independence, the strength
of members were again raised to 108. The bicameral Assam Legislative
Assembly became unicameral with the abolition of the Assam Legislative
Council in 1947. In the years that followed, Assam was truncated to
several smaller states. In 1963, Nagaland came into being as a
separate State. With the passing of North Eastern (Reorganization
Areas) Act in 1971 by the Parliament, Meghalaya became a full-fledged
state. Subsequently, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh also followed suit.
After the creation of Meghalaya as a separate state, Shillong
continued to be the joint capital of both Assam and Meghalaya.
However, in 1972, the Government of Assam decided to shift the Capital
to Dispur, Guwahati. Accordingly, the first sitting of the Budget
Session of the Assam Legislative Assembly was held at the temporary
capital at Dispur on the 16th March, 1973.
With the changing geographical boundaries together with the shifts in
the population graph of Assam, the strength of members of the Assam
Legislative Assembly has fluctuated during the last fifty odd years.
In 1952-57 it was 108, reaching still lower to 105 in 1957-62 (the
Second Assembly) and then to 114 in 1967-72 (the third Assembly) until
it reached a strength of 126 members in 1972-78 (the fifth Assembly)
and it has continued to maintain that figure till the 11th Assembly.
Although the Article 172 provides the duration of State Legislative
Assembly as 5 years due to the imposition of National Emergency in
1975 the fifth Assam Assembly lasted for 6 years.
Late Babu Basanta Kumar Das was the
first Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly.