LONDON: The British Government’s invitation to the Viceroy and Indian leaders to come to Britain for consultation on the Indian political situation was announced in both the Houses of Parliament today [Nov 27]. In the House of Lords, the Secretary of State for India, Lord Pethick-Lawrence, said that … “The purpose of the proposed discussions is to endeavour to reach a common understanding between the two major parties on the basis on which the work of the Constituent Assembly could proceed with the co-operation of all parties.”

... Viscount Simmon (Liberal) asked if he correctly understood that while the invitation had been addressed to the Congress, the Muslim League, and also to the Sikhs, no such invitation was addressed to representatives of what were now called the scheduled classes, of whom Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was a well-known representative. Was no offer made to get their point of view directly … ?

Lord Pethick-Lawrence replied: “The position is that this controversy has arisen between the major parties and this invitation is addressed to them in order to get the maximum possible measure of agreement in the Constituent Assembly. The point in regard to the depressed classes does not arise at this time.”

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2021

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