Article 2 in the Constitution of India
Admission or establishment of new States: The Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions, as it thinks fit. Here we should pay attention to the phrase “Parliament may by law admit”. This expression further means that a new state may be admitted in the Union in the following means and ways:
- A Union Territory may be raised to the status of full state.
- A foreign territory acquired by India may be made a state of India and admitted into the union.
- A territory separated from an existing state can be reorganized into a full fledged new state.
Here we should note that Article 2 confers full discretion on the Parliament as to what terms should be imposed on the new states so admitted to the union. Parliament may by law means that whenever a new state is established,a legislation will require to be enacted.
- Under this law, the Parliament can admit new states after acquiring them. Sikkim was admitted as a state in Indian union on 26 April 1975.
- Article 2 provides for the admission or establishment of new states (which were previously not part of India). E.g. Sikkim
- Whereas Article 3 provides for the formation or changes in the existing states of India. E.g. Chhattisgarh.
Parliament’s Power to Reorganize the States
Article 3 preserves India’s federal character.
It states: “Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States: Parliament may by law form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State.”
- Increase the area of any State.
- Diminish the area of any State.
- Alter the boundaries of any State.
- Alter the name of any State.
Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views thereon within such period as may be specified in the reference or within such further period as the President may allow and the period so specified or allowed has expired.
How is a new state formed?
By law, the Parliament can form a new state by separating territory from any state, by merging two or more states or parts of states. Parliament can also reduce or increase the area or alter the boundary of any state or even change its name. But first, a bill on the matter has to be referred by the President to the legislature of the affected state so that the legislature can express its views within a certain period.
Once the President has ascertained the views of the state government, a resolution is tabled before the assembly. Once the resolution is passed by the assembly, it has to pass a bill creating the new state.
Finally, a separate bill on the matter is introduced in Parliament on the recommendation of the President. Once this bill is passed by a two-thirds majority and ratified by the President, the new state is formed.
How were states organized after Independence in 1947?
British India had been divided into princely states under the control of local hereditary rulers, and provinces, which were directly governed by British officials. Upon Independence, the British colonial power dissolved the treaties they had with nearly 600 princely states letting them choose which side they wanted to join, India or Pakistan.
Most joined India and a few went to Pakistan. Sikkim chose to become independent with a special protectorate status (and later merged with India in 1975). During the period 1947-50, the princely states were absorbed into the various provinces.