The Indian Councils Act 1892 enlarged the legislature by adding members to the Central Legislative Assembly. The Council Act of 1909 was an extension of the 1892 reforms, also known as the Morley-Minto Reforms after the names of the then Secretary of State (Lord Morley) and the then Viceroy (Lord Minto).
It increased the members of the Legislative Assembly from sixteen to sixty. A few non-elected members were also added. Though the members of the Legislative Council were increased, they had no real powers.
They remained mainly advisory in character. They could not stop any bills from being passed. Nor did they have any power over the budget.
The British made another calculated move to sow the seed of communalism in Indian politics by introducing separate electorates for the Muslims. This meant that from the constituencies dominated by Muslims only Muslim candidates could be elected.
Hindus could only vote for Hindus, and Muslims could only vote for Muslims. Many leaders protested against this communal electorate policy of the British to ‘Divide and Rule’.