In March, 1944, C. Rajagopalacharia, the veteran Congress leader, prepared a formula for Congress-League cooperation. Gandhiji supported the Formula. The scheme embodying the formula was:C. Rajagopalacharia
- Muslim League to endorse Congress demand for independence.
- League to co-operate with congress in forming a provisional government at the Centre.
- After end of II World War, the entire population of Muslim majority areas in the north-west and north-east of India to decide by a plebiscite whether or not to form a separate sovereign state.
- In case of acceptance of partition, agreement to be made jointly for safeguarding Defence, Commerce, Communications, etc.
- The above terms to be operative only if England transferred full powers to India.
Jinnah rejected the formula in September 1944, because:
- Jinnah wanted the Congress to accept the two-nation theory.
- Jinnah wanted only the Muslim population of the north west and north-east to vote in the plebiscite and not the entire population.
- Jinnah opposed to the idea of a common Centre.
- Jinnah held that Rajaji offered only ‘a maimed, mutilated and moth-eaten Pakistan’.
Hindu leaders led by Vir Savarkar condemned the C.R. plan.
Efforts nevertheless continued to end the deadlock and Mr. Bhulabhai Desai, leader of the Congress Party in the Central Legislative Assembly, met Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, Deputy Leader of the Muslim League Party in that Assembly, and gave him the draft of a proposal for the formation of an Interim Government at the Centre, consisting of
- equal number of persons nominated by the Congress and the League in the Central legislature,
- 20% of seats to be reserved for minorities, and
- the Commander-in-Chief. But no settlement could be reached between the Congress and the League even on these lines. But the fact that a sort of parity between the Congress and the League was decided upon had far-reaching consequences.
The Wavell Plan, 1945
Lord Wavell sought to muster Indian national support for war against Japan which was expected to last another year. Wavell Proposals were broadcast over A.I.R. on 14 June, 1945. 21 Indian leaders invited to Simla Conference to discuss Wavell Plan. Aim of the Simla Conference was to evolve agreed formula for formation of Viceroy’s Executive Council as contemplated under Cripps proposals.Lord Wavell
Main points of Wavell Plan were:
- With the exception of the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief all members of Executive Council to be Indians.
- Caste Hindus and Muslims to have equal representation.
- New Executive Councils to work under the existing Indian constitution.
- Governor-General to retain right to override Executive Council but not to use it unreasonably.
- However, Wavell announced failure of Simla Conference on 14 July, 1945.
- The Simla Conference failed to achieve any success because its offer, according to the Congress, was inadequate, indefinite and unsatisfactory. It ended in failure because of the unwillingness of Wavell to part with power when the war was still going on. Also there was no provision made in it for the future constitutional set up. Wavell was ready to accept four nominees of the League and one Muslim nominee of the Unionist Party of the Punjab, Khizir Hayat Khan, in the Executive Council but Jinnah was not ready to tolerate this and he insisted that all Muslim representatives would be chosen by the League. It was clear that the British imperialists were behind Muslim communalism and were trying to encourage it against the rising tide of the force of Indian nationalism.
Reason for failure can be summed up as:
- Jinnah wanted the right to supply list of all Muslim Executive Councillors.
- Jinnah wanted special safeguards for Muslim bloc within the Council.
- Wavell conceded a virtual veto to Jinnah.
- Anglo-Indian bureaucracy worked for its failure.
Outcome of Wavell Plan
- It exposed the real character of the Conservative Government of Churchill.
- It boosted the position of Jinnah in Indian politics.
- Jinnah became the unquestioned leader of Indian Muslims.
- The establishment of Pakistan was no longer in doubt.
- Release of Congress leaders from jails gave them fresh opportunity to prepare for forthcoming general elections of 1945-46.