Desai – Liaqat Plan

 

Background

  • While Mohandas Gandhi and the entire Congress Working Committee had been arrested during the Quit India movement, from 1942 to 1945, Desai was one of few Congress leaders free.
  • While pressing demands for the immediate release of political prisoners, Desai began secretive talks with Liaquat Ali Khan, the second-most important leader of the Muslim League.
  • It was their intention to negotiate an agreement for a future coalition government, which would enable a united choice for Hindus and Muslims for the independent Government of India; eventually in the direction of ending the deadlock between the two entities.

 

The Pact

  • Both of them came up with the draft proposal for the formation of an interim government at the centre, consisting of:
    • An equal number of persons nominated by the Congress and the League in the central legislature.
    • 20% reserved seats for minorities.
  • In this Pact, Liaquat gave up the demand for a separate Muslim state in turn for parity of Muslims-to-Hindus in the council of ministers.
    • Conceding the League as the representative of Muslims and giving a minority community equal place with the majority Hindus, Desai attempted to construct an ideal Indian alliance that would hasten India’s path for freedom while ending the Quit India struggle.

Thus, it turned out so that, M.K Gandhi’s attempt to resolve the political deadlock by persuading Desai to make an attempt to appease the league leaders, were not formally endorsed either by the Congress or the League.