Sunday, April 7, 2013

N.W.F.P. election results 1946

Always check the facts when dealing with Pakistani liberals.

In this article on,  it is claimed
Dr Khan Sahib became the premier after the 1946 election on the basis of 30 members in a House of 50. Out of these 30 members, 12 were Hindu MLAs and 16 were Muslim MLAs on Muslims seats (not 19 as Bangash claims repeatedly).
A little bit later, the article tells us that the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, an ally of the Congress Party (which is correct).

In "Muslims, Nationalism and the Partition: 1946 Provincial Elections in India" (1998) , Sho Kuwajima provides the party-wise results (page 230) : Congress 30, Jamiat-ul-Ulema 2, Akali 1, Muslim League 17.

Since the Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind was an ally of the Congress Party, it means that Dr Khan Sahib became the premier after the 1946 election on the basis of 32 members (I don't yet know about the Akali (Sikh) member).

Page 231 of the same book tells us of the Muslim seats, Congress won 19, the Muslim League 17, and the Jamiat-ul-Ulema won 2.

Thus of the Congress 30, 19 were Muslim exactly as Bangash claims repeatedly, and 11 were non-Muslim.

Whenever these elections are mentioned, we should note that the total electorate in the 1946 elections was 41,075,839.  The estimated population of India in 1945 was 299,621,000.  Sho Kuwajima estimates that "the proportion of the total electorate to all the population of the same age group may be roughly less than 28 per cent."

PS: Here is one of the articles of Bangash that is perhaps the source of the argument.

Article 356 of the Indian Constitution

The discretionary powers of the Governor-General and Governor of Section 93 of the 1935 act were done away with in the Indian Independence Act of 1947. But the Indian Constituent Assembly debated and introduced something similar in Article 356 of the Indian Constitution.

We are told:[1]

On August 29, 1947, a Drafting Committee was set up by the Constituent Assembly. Under the chairmanship of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, it was to prepare a draft Constitution for India. In the course of about two years, the Assembly discussed 2,473 amendments out of a total of 7,635 amendments tabled.

When it was suggested in the Drafting Committee to confer similar powers of emergency as had been held by the Governor-General under the Government of India Act, 1935, upon the President, many members of that eminent committee vociferously opposed that idea. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar then pacified the members stating:

'In fact I share the sentiments expressed by my Hon'ble friend Mr. Gupte yesterday that the proper thing we ought to expect is that such articles will never be called into operation and that they would remain a dead letter. If at all they are brought into operation, I hope the President, who is endowed with these powers, will take proper precautions before actually suspending the administration of the provinces.'

He added: 'I hope the first thing he will do would be to issue a clear warning to a province that has erred, that things were not happening in the way in which they were intended to happen in the Constitution.'
 S.R. Bommai v. Union of India, 1994, (Wiki), when the Supreme Court of India set strict boundaries,  stopped the previous abuse of this provision of the Constitution.

[1] EXECUTIVE DISCRETION AND ARTICLE 356 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA: A Comparative Critique K. Jayasudha Reddy and Joy V. Joseph, EJCL Volume 8.1, March 2004