Shimla Conference (June-July 1945)

  • Proposed by Wavell
  • Talks suggested setting up of a new Executive council with only Indian members. The Viceroy and the Commander in chief would be the only non-Indian members of the council.
  • Caste Hindus and Muslims would have equal representation the executive would work within the existing constitution (ie not responsible to the Central Assembly) but the door was kept open for discussions on a new consititution.
  • The Congress, headed by Maulana Azad, resented being characterized as a caste Hindu organisation.
  • Talks broke down due to Jinnah’s demand for the Muslim League to have absolute choice in choosing all Muslim members and a demand for communal veto, though it had ministries only in Assam and Sind.
  • The dissolution of the conference gave Jinnah the Communal Veto in effect. Thereafter, the satisfaction of the League became a pre-requisite to any major settlement.
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