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Modern History / Independence and Partition

Cabinet Mission Plan 1946

Cabinet Mission Plan, 1946 was the proposal made by the Cabinet Mission, which was appointed by the British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee with Sir Pethick Lawrence (Secretary of State) as its chairman and A.V. Alexander and Sir Stafford Cripps as other members of Cabinet Mission.

Cabinet Mission Plan and its Implications

The Cabinet Mission, headed by Sir Pethick Lawrence, was constituted to provide the road map for giving independence to India. The proposals of Cabinet Mission Plan are

    • Unity of India shall be retained.

    • All India Federation is to be created with strong provinces and weak Centre, whose powers are to be confined to currency, defence, foreign affairs and communications.

    • Grouping of different provinces into 3 groups, comprising of Western group, Eastern group and the Central & South group.

    • Constituent Assembly shall be created to frame the Constitution.

    • An interim government shall be formed at the Centre until the Constitution is framed. It shall be a coalition government.

  • When Governor General Lord Wavell was in the process of forming an interim government with Jawaharlal Nehru as the prime minister, Muslim League gave a call for "Direct Action Day" on August 16, 1946 in Calcutta to demonstrate the strength of Muslim feeling towards the demand for separate Pakistan.

    It is also called Great Calcutta Killings. In 3 days, around 4000 Muslims and Hindus died and 2000 were wounded.

  • Finally, on 2nd September, 1946, an interim government was formed with Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minister. The interim government had 7 Congress ministers and 5 Muslim League ministers, who joined the interim government on 15th October, 1946.

  • The Congress ministers in the interim Government were

    • Jawaharlal Nehru - Prime Minister
    • Vallabhbhai Patel - Home Minister
    • Baldev Singh - Defence Minister
    • C. Rajagopalchari - Education Minister
    • Rajendra Prasad - Food and Agriculture Minister
    • Jagjiran Ram - Labour Minister
    • Homi Bhaba - Mines and Power Minister

  • The Muslim League ministers in the interim Government were

    • Liyaquat Ali Khan - Finance Minister (first Prime Minister of Pakistan)
    • Abdur Rab Nishtar - Railways and Communications Minister
    • Ghazanfar Ali Khan - Health Minister
    • I.I. Chundrigar - Commerce Minister
    • Jogendra Nath Mandal - Law Minister

As recommended by the Cabinet Mission Plan 1946, for the formation of Constituent Assembly in India, elections were held for the Constituent Assembly in July, 1946 to elect the members for framing the Indian Constitution.