By 1930, Dr Ambedkar had become a leader of national stature championing the cause of the depressed people of the country. While presenting a real picture of the condition of these people in the First Round Table Conference, he had demanded separate electorates for them.
On 16 August, 1932 the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald made an announcement, which came to be as the Communal Award. According to this award, the depressed classes were considered as a separate community and as such provisions were made for separate electorates for them.
Mahatma Gandhi protested against the Communal Award and went on a fast unto death in the Yeravada jail on 20 September, 1932.
Finally, an agreement was reached between Dr Ambedkar and Gandhi. This agreement is called as the Poona Pact. The British Government also approved of it. Accordingly, 148 seats in different Provincial Legislatures were reserved for the Depressed Classes in place of 71 as provided in the Communal Award.