Vithalbhai Jhaverbhai Patel's presence should constantly remind our parliamentarians about their responsibility to the Constitution and people
In August of 1925, there was excitement in Simla. Members of the legislative assembly were in town to participate in the session of the national legislature. The session’s highlight was the election for the presiding officer of the assembly. The Government of India Act of 1919 had set up the 141-member assembly and appointed its first presiding officer (the President which is the equivalent of the modern-day Speaker) for a four-year term. For the first time, there was going to be an election for the position of President.
The candidate opposing the government nominee was Vithalbhai Jhaverbhai Patel, the elder brother of Vallabhbhai Patel. He was a lawyer who had frustrated the government with his interventions in provincial and national legislatures. In a closely contested election, Vithalbhai won with a margin of two votes a month before his 52nd birthday. Over the next five years, he would lay the foundation on which legislatures in India would function and flourish after independence.