Lord Mountbatten was appointed by the British Government to decide the future of British Indian Empire. He was given more powers to decide the things on the spot.
Before the arrival of Mountbatten the deadline for the transfer of powers was June 30 1948 but till came the situation became much more worsen. Cabinet Mission was a dead horse and Jinnah was adamant for a separate Muslim state.
Initially Lord Mountbatten came with the Balkan Plan under which the provinces of India was given the freedom to not to join either of the State India or Pakistan. But this plan was vehemently opposed by the Congress.
Then with the suggestion of V.P. Menon ,Lord Mountbatten came with the Mountbatten Plan on June 3,1947.
Main provisions of the Mountbatten Plan were:
- Punjab and Bengal Legislative Assemblies would meet in two groups Hindus and Muslims to vote for partition. If any of the group voted for the partition then these provinces will be partitioned.
- Sind Legislative Assembly would decide its own decision. Later Sind decided to go with Pakistan.
- North West Frontier Provinces would hold a referendum to decide which dominion to join. NWFP decided to be a part of Pakistan.
- Sylhet district of Assam also hold a referendum to decide which dominion to join.It decided to be a part of Pakistan.
- Independence of Princely States was ruled out, they would join either India or Pakistan.
- The date of transfer of power was decided to be August 15,1947.
- A Boundary Commission would be set up under Sir Cyril Radcliffe to demarcate the provinces of Bengal and Punjab.
- Governor General was made a constitutional head. India accepted Lord Mountbatten as the First Governor General of India however Firs Governor General of Pakistan was Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Reaction of the Lord Mountbatten Plan:
- Congress willingly accepted the Dominion Status as it ensured peaceful and quick transfer of power.
- For Britain Dominion status offered a chance to keep India in the Commonwealth.
- On July 18,1947 the British Parliament ratified the Mountbatten Plan as the “Independence of India Act-1947”.