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In 1916, the Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim League formed a pact known as the Lucknow Pact. The Indian National Congress was led by Bal Gangadhar, while the All-India Muslim League was headed by Muhammad Ali Jannah. In the city of Lucknow, the two entities held separate meetings in which they ratified the pact; the Congress adopted it during its session on December 29, and the League did the same on December 31, 1916. This pact reunified the moderate and radical wings of the Indian National Congress. The purpose of the pact was to unite the two parties so that they could pressure the British government into being more liberal towards India, and into giving increased authority to the Indians to govern their own country. In addition it dealt with the relationship between the Hindu and Muslim communities by protecting Muslim demands.

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