Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh sparked fresh political controversy after stating that the history of India would have been different if former PM Jawaharlal Nehru would have allowed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to handle the issue of Jammu and Kashmir independently. Singh also criticised senior Congress leader for falsely stating that Patel had offered Kashmir to Pakistan in exchange of Hyderabad. Jitendra Singh as of the view that Sardar Vallabhai Patel was always kept out of the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir, despite the fact that he was the home minister during Nehru reign.
Singh further asserted that, if Vallabhai Patel was made the charge for handling Kashmir issue in the same manner for handling other princely states of India, of the Indian subcontinent would have been different. Singh further stated that a part of Jammu and Kashmir which is been illegally unoccupied by neighbouring Pakistan could be a part of India if Patel would be been the in-charge. The only, former PM Jawaharlal Nehru didn’t let Patel interfere in the matter because he assumed that he knows Kashmir better than anyone else. He further added that ex-PM Nehru had a special affinity for former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister) Sheikh Abdullah and therefore he got carried by the biases.
According to media reports, during the launch of his book titled Kashmir Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle , Saifuddin Saiz, he had stated that Patel was a pragmatist and offered Kashmir to Liaquat Ali Khan who was the then the Pakistan PM. He also stated that Khan was preparing for a war because of which Patel told him don’t talk of Hyderabad, talk Kashmir. Take Kashmir but don’t talk of Hyderabad.
Interestingly, renowned columnist and historian Ramachandra Guha also joined Saiz’s contention and said that this notion of Patel for giving Kashmir instead of Hyderabad was documented several years ago in Rajmohan Gandhi’s biography of the Sardar.