Nehru was reluctant to send troops to Kashmir in 1948: Advani
BJP leader LK Advani on Thursday said Jawaharlal Nehru was reluctant to send army to Kashmir in 1948 even as Pakistani troops approached, but the Home Minister prevailed over him.
New Delhi: After claiming that Jawaharlal Nehru had called Sardar Patel a "total communalist", BJP leader LK Advani on Thursday said the then prime minister was reluctant to send army to Kashmir in 1948 even as Pakistani troops approached, but the Home Minister prevailed over him.
Quoting from an interview of Sam Manekshaw (then a Colonel) by senior journalist Prem Shankar Jha, Advani said in his latest blog that as the tribesmen- supported by Pakistani forces- moved closer to Srinagar, a decision had to be taken on moving Indian forces there.
However, Nehru appeared reluctant and felt the issue should be taken to the UN.
Referring to Manekshaw`s claim in the interview, Advani said Lord Mountbatten called a Cabinet meeting soon after Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession. This was attended by Nehru, Patel and defence minister Baldev Singh.
Manekshaw presented the "military situation" in the meeting and suggested the Indian forces be moved there.
"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 said, quoting Manekshaw from the interview to Jha.
The Indian forces were then flown to Srinagar to fight the Pakistani forces and the Muslim soldiers of Hari Singh who had defected to Pakistan.
"This report, involving Manekshaw and Prem Shankar Jha, provides a clinching confirmation of the difference between Nehru and Patel over the Hyderabad action," Advani said.
On November 5, Advani had written a blog where he quoted from the memoirs of MKK Nair, a 1947 batch IAS officer, to say that Nehru had called Patel a "total communalist" when the latter said at a Cabinet meeting that "police action" will have to be taken against Hyderabad as it was trying to join Pakistan.