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Cabinet Mission 1946

Cabinet Mission 1946

The Labor Party led by Clement Attlee came into power after the general elections in United Kingdom after the war with Japan ended on August 10, 1945. Attlee sent the Cabinet Mission consisting of A.V. Alexander, Sir Stafford Cripps and Lord Pathic Lawrence to India to find out the solution of the problems of India. The Mission reached India on 16th May, 1946 and called on the Muslim League and the congress.

The main features of the Cabinet Mission were:

  • India would be granted the status of Federation consisting of Indian Princely States and the British provinces.
  • The Federal government would take hold of defense, foreign affairs and communication and the rest of the subjects would be the responsibility of the units of the Federation.
  • India would be divided into three groups. Group A was to consist of Bihar, Bombay, U.P. Madras, Orissa and C.P. group B comprised of Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and British Baluchistan while group C included Asam and Bengal. These groups were given the authority to frame their constitution jointly with the other provinces of their respective groups.
  • A constituent assembly would consist of 389 members to draft the constitution out of whom 292 would be from provinces. Out of these 292, 93 members would be from Princely States and 4 would be from the areas headed by Chief Commissioners.
  • A Central interim government will be formed based on the equal representation of the Muslims and the Hindus.

The Congress first agreed to the Plan but later (on 10th July) backed out saying that it agreed with the plan only to participate the Constituent Assembly and could change the Cabinet Mission Plan as and when needed. Congress was in strong opposition of a separate homeland while the Commission was to facilitate a division going to the favor of the Muslims. Muslim League also accepted it but when Nehru unfolded his intentions to change the Cabinet Mission Plan according to the wishes of the Congress, Jinnah had to reject it as it was equivalent to be under thumb rule of Hindu majority.

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