met. Till Jinnah’s takeover in 1934, the
Dr Muhammad Iqbal presented his historic address demanding the
establishment of a north-western Muslim state in India, the annual general
meeting did not have even its quorum of seventy five members.
    A parliamentary board was nominated by Jinnah in 1936 to contest
elections to the provincial assemblies as well as the Central Legislative
Assembly. In the Punjab, Jinnah could not get any support, for Fazl-i-
Hussain. having retired from the Governor General’s Executive Council,
returned to his home state to revive the Unionist Party. Jinnah’s electoral
prospects appeared so bleak even the Aga Khan gave financial support to the
Unionist Party rather than the League.
    Soon after, however, the League succeeded in galvanising Indian
Muslims into a political force second only to the Congress. Despite the initial
limitations, the League did not fare too badly in the 1937 general elections. It
contested altogether a little more than half the seats reserved for Muslims in
separate constituencies and won around 60 per cent of these. Yet, except for
Bengal, it drew almost a blank in the Muslim majority provinces.
    The Lucknow Session (1937) reaffirmed the League’s two-nation theory,
but only the Lahore session (1940) passed a resolution demanding partition of
the country. The Lahore Resolution was termed by the Indian nationalist
press as the ‘Pakistan resolution’, although the word itself was not mentioned
either in the speeches made or in the text of the resolution.
    The League became really strong during the World War II partly due to
the political wilderness in the Congress and partly due to the government’s
covert support. By 1946 the League had a membership of some three million
and its organisation had penetrated the countryside. In the general elections to
the legislatures in 1946, it fared very well and captured almost all the Muslim
seats both at the centre and in the provinces. The League polled about 4.5
million or 75 per cent of the Muslim vote in the elections, winning 460 out of
533 Muslim seats in the central and provincial legislatures.