Patiala and East Punjab States Union

The Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) was a state of India uniting eight princely states between 1948 and 1956. The capital and principal city was Patiala. The state covered an area of 26,208 km². Shimla, Kasauli, Kandaghat and Chail also became part of the PEPSU.

Patiala and East Punjab States Union
State of India

1951 map of India. The Patiala and East Punjab States Union is shown forming enclaves in East Punjab.
26,208 km2 (10,119 sq mi)
LegislaturePEPSU Legislative Assembly
 State Established
15 July 1948
 State Disestablished
1 November 1956


Princely states union

It was created by combining eight princely states, which maintained their native rulers :

Six Salute states 
  • Patiala, title Maharaja, Hereditary salute of 17-guns (19-guns local)
  • Jind, title Maharaja, Hereditary salute of 13-guns (15-guns personal and local)
  • Kapurthala, title Maharaja, Hereditary salute of 13-guns (15-guns personal and local)
  • Nabha, title Maharaja, Hereditary salute of 13-guns (15-guns local):
  • Faridkot, title Raja, Hereditary salutes of 11-guns
  • Malerkotla, title Nawab, Hereditary salute of 11-guns
and two Non-salute states

The state was inaugurated on 15 July 1948 and formally became a state of India in 1950.

Successor states

On 1 November 1956, PEPSU was merged mostly into Punjab State following the States Reorganisation Act.[1]

A part of the former state of PEPSU, including the present day Jind district and the Narnaul tehsil in north Haryana as well as the Loharu tehsil, Charkhi Dadri district and Mahendragarh district in southwest Haryana, presently lie within the state of Haryana, which was separated from Punjab on 1 November 1966. Some other areas that belonged to PEPSU, notably Solan and Nalagarh, now lie in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Rajpramukh and Uparajpramukh

S. no. Rajpramukh Portrait Tenure Uparajpramukh Portrait Appointed by
1 Yadavindra Singh 15 July 1948 1 November 1956 8 years, 109 days Jagatjit Singh C. Rajagopalachari

Chief Ministers

(coalition with)
Term of office[2]Election (Assembly)Appointed by
List of Premier of PEPSU (1948-1952)
1 Gian Singh RarewalaIND
15 July 194813 January 19492 years, 312 daysCaretaker GovernmentYadavindra Singh
13 January 194923 May 1951
Not yet created


Raghbir SinghN/AIndian National Congress23 May 195121 April 1952
334 days
Chief Minister of PEPSU (1952-1956)
1 Gian Singh RarewalaIND
22 April 1952
5 March 1953
317 days1952 (1)Yadavindra Singh
(i)Vacant[lower-alpha 1]
(President's rule)
-5 March 19538 March 19541 year, 3 days-Rajendra Prasad
2 Raghbir SinghN/AIndian National Congress8 March 1954
12 January 1955
310 days1954 (2)Yadavindra Singh
3 Brish Bhan12 January 19551 November 1956
1 year, 294 days

Deputy Chief Minister

Sr. No. Name Portrait Term of office Political Party Chief Minister
1 Brish Bhan 23 May 1951 21 April 1952 Indian National Congress Raghbir Singh
8 March 1954 12 January 1955

In 1956 PEPSU was merged with Punjab.


Heads of state and government

When the state was formed, the then-Maharaja of Patiala, Yadavindra Singh, was appointed its Rajpramukh (equivalent to Governor). He remained in office during the entire length of the state's short existence. The then Maharaja of Kapurthala, Jagatjit Singh, served as Uparajpramukh (lieutenant-governor).

Gian Singh Rarewala was sworn in on 13 January 1949 as the first Chief Minister of PEPSU. Col. Raghbir Singh became the next Chief Minister on 23 May 1951, and Brish Bhan the Deputy Chief Minister.

The state elected a 60-member state legislative assembly on 6 January 1952. The Congress Party won 26 seats and the Akali Dal won 19 seats.

On 22 April 1952, Gian Singh Rarewala again became Chief Minister, this time an elected one. He led a coalition government, called the "United Front", formed by the Akali Dal and various independents. On 5 March 1953 his government was dismissed and President's rule was imposed on the state.[4] In the mid-term poll that followed, the Congress party secured a majority and Raghbir Singh became Chief Minister on 8 March 1954. Upon his death, Brish Bhan became the Chief Minister on 12 January 1955 and remained in office as last incumbent.


Initially, in 1948, the state was divided into the following eight districts:

  1. Patiala district
  2. Barnala district
  3. Bhatinda district
  4. Fatehgarh district
  5. Sangrur district
  6. Kapurthala district
  7. Mohindergarh district
  8. Kohistan district

In 1953, the number of districts was reduced from eight to five. Barnala district became part of Sangrur district and Kohistan and Fatehgarh districts became part of Patiala district.[5]

There were four Lok Sabha constituencies in this state. Three of them were single-seat constituency: Mohindergarh, Sangrur and Patiala. The Kapurthala-Bhatinda Lok Sabha constituency was a double-seat constituency.


The state had a population of 3,493,685 (1951 census), of which 19% was urban. The population density was 133/km².[6]


  1. President's rule may be imposed when the "government in a state is not able to function as per the Constitution", which often happens because no party or coalition has a majority in the assembly. When President's rule is in force in a state, its council of ministers stands dissolved. The office of chief minister thus lies vacant, and the administration is taken over by the governor, who functions on behalf of the central government. At times, the legislative assembly also stands dissolved.[3]


  1. "States Reorganisation Act, 1956". India Code Updated Acts. Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India. 31 August 1956. pp. section 9. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  2. PEPSU
  3. Amberish K. Diwanji. "A dummy's guide to President's rule". 15 March 2005.
  4. Singh, Roopinder (16 December 2001). "Rarewala: A Punjabi-loving gentleman-aristocrat". The Tribune.
  5. "History of Jind district". Jind district website. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  6. "Patiala and East Punjab States Union". The Sikh Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11 November 2016.

Further reading

  1. Singh, Gursharan (1991). History of PEPSU, India: Patiala and East Punjab States Union, 1948-1956, Delhi: Konark Publishers, ISBN 81-220-0244-7.

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