The British govt played the game of Divide and Rule and tried to win over moderate nationalist opinion so that the militant nationalist could be isolated and suppressed. To placate the moderate nationalists it announced constitutional concessions through the Indian Council Act of 1909 known as Morley-Minto Reforms.
A joint Reform Scheme was sent to the Viceroy. They decided to make a united demand for self-government. They were to join their hands in asking the Government that a majority of the members of the Legislative Councils to be elected. They were to ask the Government that the Legislative Councils be invested with wider powers than before. They would make a common demand that at least half the seats in the Viceroy's Executive Council be filled with Indians. Thus this session of 1916 cemented the friendship between the Congress and the Muslim League and promoted goodwill between the Hindus and the Muslims. Resolution condemning the Arms Act and Press Act were passed which had virtually reduced the people and the press to a condition of absolute helplessness.