Advani quotes from book: 'Nehru called Patel total communalist'
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In the backdrop of a tussle between the Congress and BJP over the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, BJP patriarch L K Advani on Tuesday cited extracts of a book to allege that the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had even called Patel a "total communalist" in view of their differences over the method of handling Hyderabad's integration into India soon after Independence.
"At a cabinet meeting, Patel had described these things and demanded that army be sent to end the terror regime in Hyderabad. Nehru who usually spoke calmly, peacefully and with international etiquette, spoke losing his composure, 'You are a total communalist. I will never accept your recommendation'.
Advani quoted from the English manuscripts of a book titled 'The Story of an Era Told without Ill Will'. He claimed it was from the unedited translated manuscript of the book originally written in Malyalam by an IAS officer of that era, M K K Nair.
"Patel remained unperturbed but left the room with his papers," Advani quoted from the manuscript supplied to him by the translator in his latest blog post on Tuesday.
While Advani's latest blog post cites the excerpts of the book to highlight the circumstances under which the then Home Secretary V P Menon got the then Army Chief General Busher to tender his resignation for allegedly passing on the government's instruction to take military action against the Nizam of Hyderabad to his Pakistani counterpart, the BJP veteran's underlining of "sharp exchange" between Nehru and Patel appeared to be an attempt to puncture the Congress's efforts at portraying cordial relations between the two on matters of national importance.
Last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asserted Patel's secularism and his Congress roots to corner BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's attempt to paint the Congress in poor light over propagating the legacy of Patel. At a separate function days later, Modi dismissed Singh's argument, reminding that Patel's secularism was not meant for a vote bank.