Cabinet Mission Plan
In 1946, the Cabinet Mission arrived in India to find a mutually agreed solution to the Indian Problem.
The Cabinet Mission consisted of Pethick Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps, and A.V. Alexander.
The Viceroy of India, Lord Wavell did not participate.
The Cabinet Mission’s purpose:
Hold preparatory meetings with elected officials of British India and the Indian states to achieve consensus as to how the constitution would be framed.
Set up a constitution body.
Establish an Executive Council with the support of the principal Indian parties.
Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim League were the two largest political parties in the Constituent Assembly of India.
The Mission held discussions with representatives of the Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim League.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (leader of Muslim League) demanded the partition of India and a separate nation Pakistan.
But no compromise was possible between the views of the Congress and the Muslim League. At last, the Cabinet Mission announced its long-term plan of constitutional settlement for Indian on 16 May 1946.
The plans and proposals of the Cabinet Mission:
(1) A federal type of Government was to be established in the center for the whole of India embracing both British India and the Princely States.
(2) The central Government was to deal with foreign affairs, defense, and communication; and other powers were to be vested in the provinces and states.
(3) The Union constitution was to be framed by a Constituent Assembly of 296 members elected on a communal basis by the Provincial Legislative Assemblies and the representatives of States which joined the Union.
(4) Every province was to have the right to leave the union in the future if it is so liked after the election under its new constitution.
(5) An interim Government was to be set upon until the formation of the constitution.
The interim Government was to consist of fourteen members, out of whom six belonged to Congress, five to Muslim League, one to Indian Christian Community, one to Sikh and one to Parsi.
The objection of the Congress to the Plan was mainly it’s grouping; whereas the League’s objection to the Plan was its rejection of the demand for establishment of a separate state of Pakistan.
The Congress rejected the Viceroy’s proposal for an interim Government and agreed to participate in the Constituent Assembly in order to frame the constitution.
On 29th June 1946, the Cabinet Mission left India
By the approval of the Mission, a general election was held all over the country in July 1946.
In this election, out of 296 seats, Congress won 212 whereas Muslim league got 73 only.
The other smaller parties won the remaining 11 eleven seats were won by.
After the disagreement, the Muslim League officially withdrew its approval of the Cabinet Mission Plan.
The Viceroy there upon reconstituted his Executive Council without any representative of the league.