The Provisional Government of the People`s Republic of Bangladesh popularly known as the Mujibnagar Government was formed on this the 10th day of April back in 1971. This was the first ever government of Bangladesh.
On March 26, 1971, Banglabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh. Before the Pakistani forces swooped upon the Bengalis, the Pakistani army arrested the supreme leader of the nation in the night on March 25. Before he was arrested, he sent that declaration to the then Chittagong Awami League Leader to disseminate the same. Accordingly, Bangladesh was declared independent.
Though, a declaration of independence was made, but the country required having a constitution of its own. A provisional constitution was made on the 10th day of April 1971.
This provisional constitution is also known as the proclamation of independence. As per this provisional constitution and the proclamation of independence, a new government was formed for Bangladesh.
This was also known as the government in exile which was based in Kolkata, India during our war of liberation. The main purpose of that government was to gain international support for the newly declared independent country.
This government has coordinated our war of liberation from India. Besides, they urged the international community to stand beside this nation. This government was fully legitimized so far the legal and political issues are concerned. The government consisted the members who were elected by the general election held in 1970.
The duly elected representatives of the people of the country have formed the government. In this regard it fully reflected the will of the people.After the government is formed, the provisional government confirmed the declaration of independence duly declared on 26th March 1971.
The newly formed government took oath on the 17 day of April in 1971 in the then Meherpur district. The venue of the oath a mango forest in Baidyanathtala which was also renamed Mujibnagar by the provisional government.
The members of the cabinet were:
1. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (President of Bangladesh)
2. Syed Nazrul Islam (Vice President and Acting President of Bangladesh)
3. Tajuddin Ahmad (Prime Minister of Bangladesh)
4. A. H. M. Qamaruzzaman (Minister of Home Affairs, Relief and Rehabilitation)
5. Mansur Ali (Minister of Finance and Planning)
6. Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad (Minister of Foreign Affairs and Law)
7. Colonel M A G Osmani (Commander-in-Chief, Mukti Bahini)
On 17th April 1971 Mr. Yusuf Ali, an MNA, formally read out the Proclamation of Independence at a simple ceremony.
Read out at Mujibnagar on 17 April 1971
Whereas free elections were held in Bangladesh from 7th December, 1970 to 17th January, 1971, to elect representatives for the purpose of framing a Constitution, and Whereas at these elections the people of Bangladesh elected 167 out of 169 representatives belonging to the Awami League,
Whereas General Yahya Khan summoned the elected representatives of the people to meet on the 3rd March, 1971, for the purpose of framing a Constitution,
Whereas the Assembly so summoned was arbitrarily and illegally postponed for indefinite period,
Whereas instead of fulfilling their promise and while still conferring with the representatives of the people of Bangladesh, Pakistan authorities declared an unjust and treacherous war,
Whereas in the facts and circumstances of such treacherous conduct Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the undisputed leader of the 75 million people of Bangladesh, in due fulfillment of the legitimate right of self-determination of the people of Bangladesh, duly made a declaration of independence at Dacca on March 26, 1971, and urged the people of Bangladesh to defend the honour and integrity of Bangladesh,
Whereas in the conduct of a ruthless and savage war the Pakistani authorities committed and are still continuously committing numerous acts of genocide and unprecedented tortures, amongst others, on the civilian and unarmed people of Bangladesh,
Whereas the Pakistan Government by levying an unjust war and committing genocide and by other repressive measures made it impossible for the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh to meet and frame a Constitution, and give to themselves a Government,
Whereas the people of Bangladesh by their heroism, bravery and revolutionary fervour have established effective control over the territories of Bangladesh,
We the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh, as honour bound by the mandate given to us by the people of Bangladesh whose will is supreme duly constituted ourselves into a Constituent Assembly, and
having held mutual consultations
in order to ensure for the people of Bangladesh equality, human dignity and social justice,
declare and constitute Bangladesh to be a sovereign Peoples’ Republic and thereby confirm the declaration of independence already made by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,
do hereby affirm and resolve that till such time as a Constitution is framed, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman shall be the President of the Republic and that Syed Nazrul Islam shall be the Vice President of the Republic,
that the President shall be the Supreme Commander of all the Armed Forces of the Republic,
shall exercise all the Executive and Legislative powers of the Republic, including the power to grant pardon,
shall have the power to appoint a Prime Minister and such other Ministers as he considers necessary,
shall have the power to levy taxes and expend monies,
shall have the power to summon and adjourn the Constituent Assembly,
do all other things that may be necessary to give to the people of Bangladesh an orderly and just Government,
We the elected representatives of the people of Bangladesh do further resolve that in the event of there being no President or the President being unable to enter upon his office or being unable to exercise his powers and duties, due to any reason whatsoever, the Vice-President shall have and exercise all the powers, duties and responsibilities herein conferred on the President,
We further resolve that we undertake to observe and give effect to all duties and obligations that devolve upon us as a member of the family of nations and under the Charter of United Nations,
We further resolve that this proclamation of independence shall be deemed to have come into effect from the 26th day of March, 1971.
We further resolve that in order to give effect to this instrument we appoint Prof. Yusuf Ali our duly Constituted Plenipotentiary and to give to the President and the Vice-President oaths of office.
Prof. Yusuf Ali, Duly Constituted Potentiary, By and under the authority, of the Constituent Assembly of Bangladesh