All Parties Muslims Conference (1929) Study Material


All Parties Muslims Conference (1929) Study material

All parties Muslims Conference

            The immediate result of the publication of the Nehru Report was that Muslims of all shades of opinion united in opposition to it. The two wings of the Muslim League that had been split since 1924 came closer. On 21 January 1929. an All Parties Muslim Conference was convened in Delhi under Aga Khan. The Conference laid down the Muslims’ demands in the clearest possible terms: (i) The only form of government suitable to Indian conditions was a federal system, with complete autonomy and residuary powers vested in the constituent states, (ii) Muslims should not be deprived of the right to elect their representatives through separate electorates without their consent, (iii) Muslims should continue to have weightage in the Hindu majority provinces and they were willing to accord the same privilege to non-Muslim minorities in Sindh, the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan, (iv) Muslims should have their due share in the central and provincial cabinets, (v) The Muslim majority in all Muslim majority provinces (with particular reference to Bengal and Punjab) should in no way be disturbed.

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            This resolution was the Muslim League’s reply to the Nehru Report. The rejection of the Congress-inspired constitution was completely unanimous and clear. The Muslims were adamant on two points—continuation of separate electorates; and a federal form of government for India. The Nehru Report was primarily repudiated because it denied these conditions.

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            At this critical juncture, Jinnah tried to wrestle for his position by asking the Congress for certain modifications to be made in the recommendations of the Nehru Report. At the all Parties Convention at Kolkata in 1929, he argued that (i) one-third of the elected representatives of both the houses of the Central Legislature should be Muslim; (ii) in the event of adult suffrage not being established in Punjab und Bengal, there should be reservations of seats for the Muslims on the basis of population for 10 years, subject to a re-examination after that period, but that they shall have no right to contest additional seats; and (iii) residuary powers should be left to the provinces and should not rest with the Central Legislature. The Nehru Committee rejected these suggestions. In March 1929, Jinnah compiled a set of recommendations that provoked Muslim thinking for the better part of the next decade.

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