The elections were held in 1937 and about 15.5 million people cast their votes. Many parties including Congress and Muslim League participated in the elections. The Congress swept the polls in most part of the country. In 6 provinces it won an absolute majority and in 3 other provinces, it emerged as the single largest party. There were 482 seats reserved for Muslims. Of these Muslim League won only 108.In 4 provinces, including the North –West it failed to secure even one seat.
The nationalist movement under the leadership of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan secured significant victories. In July 1937 on the assurance of the Viceroy that the governors would not interfere in the administration; the Congress formed its ministries in 6 provinces –United Provinces, Central Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, Madras and Bombay. In the North-West Frontier Province and Assam, the Congress formed its ministries later and in Sind a ministry was formed with the support of the Congress. These ministries took some important steps immediately after coming to power. Political prisoners were released and bans on newspapers were lifted. Important steps were also taken in the field of education.