New Digital Library of India.
This is the one time the Muslim League agreed to joint electorates but hedged with conditions.
The Muslim Proposals.
Two day's after, on the 20th March, about 30 prominent Muslim leaders belonging to various groups met at the Western Hostel and discussed for six hours the question of modification of the existing communal representation.
They included Mr. Jinnah, Maharaja of Mahmudabad, Sir Mahomed Shaft, Sir Abdul Qaiyum, Dr. Ansari, Maulana Mahomed AH, Raja Ghaznafar AH Khan, Maulana Mahomed Yakub, Mr. Shafee and the Imam of Jumraa Musjid, Delhi.
Mr. Jinnah who presided read out to the meeting five tentative suggestions sent to him by Mr. Srinivasa Iyengar as possible alternatives to the existing pact. These were mostly based on the plea for a joint electorate. The Muslim leaders gave expression to individual views discussing what modification they held desirable. The recent discussion in the Council of State (See p. 239) was frequently referred to. Various views were expressed by the speakers.
After a protracted discussion, the Conference agreed to the institution of joint electorates, under certain conditions. It was unanimously resolved that—
"Mahomedans should accept the settlement on the basis of the following proposals, so far as representation in the legislatures in any future scheme of constitution is concerned :—
(1) Sind should be separated from Bombay Presidency and constituted into a separate province.
(2) Reforms should be introduced in N. W. F. Province and in Baluchistan on the same footing as any other province in India.
In that case, Mahomedans are prepared to accept joint electorates in all provinces so constituted and are further willing to make to Hindu minorities in Bengal, the Punjab and N.W.F.P the same concessions that Hindu majorities in other provinces are prepared to make to Mahomedan minorities.
In the Punjab and Bengal, the proportion of representation should be in accordance with the population. In the Central Legislature, Mahomedan representation shall not be less than a third and that also by mixed electorates.
These are subject to ratification by Mahomedan organisations concerned; but it is hoped by those present at the Conference that Hindus will accept and Mahomedans will ratify then. The question of the services and other questions with regard to safeguards concerning any bill or resolution which might affect religion or custom or usage of either community or affecting inter-communal interests were also discussed by the meeting but postponed for further consideration and will be taken up if on the main proposition there can be unanimity of opinion."