Cabinet Mission Plan:

The Cabinet Mission Plan was a proposal formulated by the British government in 1946 to address the issue of constitutional reforms in British India. The plan aimed at finding a political solution for the transfer of power from British rule to Indian hands. The term “Cabinet Mission” refers to the delegation of British Cabinet ministers who were tasked with presenting the plan. The key members of the delegation were Sir Stafford Cripps, Lord Pethick-Lawrence, and A.V. Alexander.

Here are the key features and components of the Cabinet Mission Plan:

1. Background:

The demand for independence in British India had gained momentum, and the British government recognized the need for constitutional reforms to address the political situation.
Background and Objective - Formation of Constituent Assembly - Grouping of Provinces - Key features and components of the Cabinet Mission Plan
Cabinet Mission Plan

2. Objective:

The primary goal of the Cabinet Mission Plan was to propose a framework for the transfer of power and the creation of a self-governing, independent India.

3. Formation of Constituent Assembly:

The plan proposed the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to draft a constitution for India. The assembly would be composed of representatives from various provinces and princely states.

4. Grouping of Provinces:

The plan recommended the grouping of provinces into three sections – Section A (Hindu-majority provinces), Section B (Muslim-majority provinces), and Section C (the princely states).

5. Provincial Autonomy:

The provinces were to have autonomy in their internal affairs, and each section had the option to frame its constitution and form its government.

6. Grouping of States:

The princely states were given the choice to join one of the three sections or remain independent.

7. Interim Government:

Until the new constitution was drafted, an interim government at the center was proposed with representation from the Indian National Congress, the Muslim League, and other parties.

8. Protection of Minorities:

The plan included provisions to protect the rights and interests of religious and ethnic minorities in the proposed independent India.

9. Referendum in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP):

The plan recommended a referendum in the NWFP to determine whether it would join the Hindu-majority Section A or the Muslim-majority Section B.

10. Rejection by the Muslim League:

The Muslim League, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, initially accepted the plan but later withdrew its support, citing disagreements over the grouping of provinces.

11. Mountbatten Plan:

With the failure of the Cabinet Mission Plan to gain full acceptance, the last British Viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten, later proposed the Mountbatten Plan, which led to the partition of British India and the creation of India and Pakistan in 1947.
The Cabinet Mission Plan marked a crucial phase in the constitutional evolution of India and set the stage for subsequent negotiations that eventually led to the partition and independence of India in 1947.