First Round Table Conference
The first session of the conference opened in London on November 12, 1930. All parties were present except for the Congress, whose leaders were in jail due to the Civil Disobedience Movement. Congress leaders stated that they had nothing to do with further constitutional discussion unless the Nehru report was enforced in it’s entirety as the constitution of India.
Almost eighty-nine members attended the conference, out of which fifty-eight were chosen from various communities and interests in British India, and the rest from princely states and other political parties. The prominent among the Muslim delegates invited by the British government were Sir Aga Khan, Quaid-i-Azam, Maulana Mohammad Ali Johar, Sir Mohammad Shafi and Maluvi Fazl-i-Haq. Sir Taj Bahadur Sapru, Mr. Jaikar and Dr. Moonje were outstanding among the Hindu leaders.
The Hindu- Muslim differences overcast the conference as the Hindus were for a powerful Central government while the Muslims stood for a loose federation of completely autonomous province. The Muslims demanded maintenance of weightage and separate electorates, the Hindus their abolition. The Muslims claimed statutory majority in Punjab and Bengal, while Hindus resisted their imposition. In Punjab, the situation was complicated by inflated Sikh claims.
The Conference dealt with the details through eight sub-committees on federal structure, provincial constitution, franchise, Sind, the North-West Frontier Province, defense services and minorities.