Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Election of 1937 (contd-2)
The Govt of India Act 1935 was practically implemented in 1937. The provincial elections were held in the winter of 1936-37. There were two major political parties in the sub-continent at that time,the congress and the Muslim League. Both parties did their best to persuade the masses before these elections and put before them their manifesto. The political manifestos of both the parties were almost identical, although there were two major differences. 1. Congress stood for their joint electorate and the league for their separate electorates.
2. Congress wanted Hindi with Deva Nagri script as official language while the League wanted Urdu with Persian script as official language.
In the results of the election, Congress as the oldest, richest, and best organised political party emerged as the single largest representative in the Legislative Assemblies. Yet it failed to secure even 4o percent of the total number of seats. Out of 1,771 total seats in the 11 provinces, Congress was only able to win slightly more than 750 seats. Thus the results clearly disapproved Gandhi's claim that his party represented 95 percent of the population of India. Its success, moreover, was mainly confined to the Hindu Constituencies. out of the 491 Muslim seats, Congress could only capture 26. Muslim league's condition was also bad as it could only win 106 Muslim seats. The party only managed to win 2 seats from the Muslim majority province of Punjab.
The final results of the elections were declared in feb 1937. The Indian National Congress had a clear majority in Madras, U.P., C.P., Bihar and Orissa.i.e. 5 provinces. In These 5 provinces Congress could form Ministry without the support of any other political party. This was a contradiction of the idea of Jinnah that no Party would be able to form ministry without the support of League. It was also able to form a coalition ministry in two other province , namely Bombay amd NWFP without the support of the League.Congress was also able to secure political importance in Sindh and Assam where they joined the ruling coalition other than League. Thus directly or indirectly Congress was in power in 9 out of 11 provinces. The Unionist Party of Sir Fazlul hassan and Praja Krishak party of Maulavi Fazlul Haq were able to form governments in Punjab and Bengal respectively, without the interference of Congress. Muslim League failed to form Govt alone in any of the province. jinnah offered Congress to form coalition govt with the league but the Congress rejected the offer.
Moreover, the Congress refused, primarily, to set up its Govt until the British agreed to their demand that the Governor would not use his special power in Legislative affairs. Ultimately , on the basis of a virtual commitment from the British Govt Congress formed the Ministry after four months delay in July 1937.