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Patel had to face Nehru's reluctance, says L.K. Advani

Patel had to face Nehrus reluctance, says L.K. Advani

New Delhi: In his fourth consecutive blog on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, BJP veteran L.K. Advani Monday said Patel had to face Jawaharlal Nehru's "reluctance" on the accession of Hyderabad.

"In a democratic set-up, cabinet sanction was essential for Police Action (in Hyderabad). Patel faced a formidable task in overcoming Nehru's reluctance," Advani said quoting from a book 'India's Bismarck- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel' by Balraj Krishna.

Advani, in an earlier blog last week had said that India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had called Patel a "total communalist" when he talked about sending army to Hyderabad. Patel, he said, had walked out of the meeting after that.

He said V.P. Menon, political advisor of the last viceroy of India, Lord Louis Mountbatten, had also left the meeting after Patel walked out.

"At one of the meetings of the defence committee, of which Nehru was the chairman, there was so much bitterness that Sardar Patel walked out," said Advani quoting from the book.

"'Seeing his seat vacant', V.P. Menon told a Rotary meeting in Bombay, 'I too walked out five minutes later'," the book stated.

"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 states ministry (Menon), 'it was decided to order troops into Hyderabad'," the book stated further.

The blog adds: "Patel had yet to face the Hamlet in Nehru" adding that then army commander-in-chief general Sir Roy Bucher tried to dissuade Patel from sending troops saying Mumbai and Ahmedabad could be bombed.

The BJP has been accusing Congress for not giving Patel his due place, and has tried to claim his legacy.

BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has also praised Patel on more than one occasion, and recently laid foundation of a mega statue of the first home minister in Gujarat.

Advani adds: "There was not a single communal incident in the whole length and breadth of India throughout the time of the operation (for acceding Hyderbad).


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