New Delhi, Oct 25: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday accused India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of delaying accession of the region and said that the process is now final and complete.
The minister made the remarks on the eve of the Accession Day of Jammu and Kashmir while responding to queries why the accession of the region Kashmir with independent India did not take place on or before August 15, 1947.
“If there was a delay of over two months, it was not on account of Maharaja Hari Singh but on account of the then Prime Minister Nehru who was not forthcoming in his approach and was instead being led by cues and inputs from Sheikh Abdullah,” Singh said.
The minister further asserted that if the then Home Minister Sardar Patel had been given a free hand to handle the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir just as he was handling the other princely states of undivided India, not only the history of Indian subcontinent would have been different, but also the accession of the region would have happened much earlier.
Singh said if it had happened, the part of Jammu and Kashmir presently under illegal occupation of Pakistan (PoJK) would have also been a part of independent India. Singh questioned why Prime Minister Nehru violated the democratic propriety by intruding into the domain of his own Home Minister Sardar Patel.
To put the record straight, the minister said, it was in fact finally Sardar Patel’s intervention which facilitated the landing of the Indian Forces in Srinagar and saved the rest of the parts of the State also from being occupied by Pakistan.
Another impropriety committed by Prime Minister Nehru, said Singh, was that instead of frankly and directly dealing with Maharaja Hari Singh, who was at that time the legitimate and official Head of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, Nehru instead preferred to carry on backdoor parleys with Sheikh Abdullah.
It was Nehru again, whose initial dillydallying led to delay in the landing of the Indian Forces at Srinagar before they could drive out the Pakistani invaders, Singh said.
“The draft of the Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh was the same as that signed by the Heads of other princely states, without any conditions or terms attached.”
Article 370 and 35-A were anomalous additions which came later after Hari Singh had relinquished the throne, he said.
History has been unfair to Maharaja Hari Singh, said the Minister, and hoped that in the changed milieu of today, the record will be put straight and all the misgivings cleared for the benefit of future generations.