NEW DELHI: Senior BJP leader L K Advani today referred to another book to support his claim that there were differences between Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel over sending the Indian army to Hyderabad when the Nizam was trying to join Pakistan at the time of partition.
In his latest blog post, Advani refers to a book by Balraj Krishna, a journalist, titled ‘India’s Bismarck: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’.
“In a democratic set-up, Cabinet sanction was essential for police action. Patel faced a formidable task in overcoming Nehru’s reluctance. At one of the meetings of the defense committee, of which Nehru was the chairman, there was so much bitterness that Sardar Patel walked out,” Advani said, quoting from the book.
The then Home Secretary V P Menon later told a Rotary meeting that when he saw the Home Minister’s seat vacant, he too walked out of the Cabinet meeting after five minutes, the BJP leader said, reading from the book.
“This seemed to have shaken Nehru out of his complacent mood and mellowed his opposition. Later, at a meeting attended by the Governor General (Rajagopalachari), the Prime Minister, the Home Minister (Patel), and Secretary to the state’s Ministry (Menon), it was decided to order troops into Hyderabad,” he said, citing excerpts from the book.
Advani recently created a controversy when he quoted the memoirs of a 1947-batch IAS officer M K K Nair that in the Cabinet meeting, when Patel had said police action will have to be taken against Hyderabad, Nehru had called him a “total communalist”. Nair’s book also says that Patel had then collected his papers and walked out.
Advani further stoked the controversy in a subsequent blog when he referred to an old interview of Sam Manekshaw (then a Colonel) who had said he was present in the Cabinet meeting to explain the “military situation” in Kashmir.
“As usual, Nehru talked about the United Nations, Russia, Africa, God almighty, everybody, until Sardar Patel lost his temper. He said, ‘Jawaharlal, do you want Kashmir, or do you want to give it away’. He (Nehru) said,’ Of course, I want Kashmir’. Then he (Patel) said ‘Please give your orders’.
“And before he could say anything, Sardar Patel turned to me and said, ‘You have got your orders’,” Advani had said, quoting Manekshaw from the interview.–PTI