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Why Gandhi opted for Nehru and not Sardar Patel for PM
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New Delhi, Oct 31: New Delhi, Oct 31: As Machiavelli wrote -" History is written by the victors". The official history of independent India was written and overseen by that faction of the Congress party which emerged victorious in the leadership tussle on the eve of independence with the tacit but partisan support of none other than the all powerful and universally venerable Mahatma Gandhi. According to this official history, Jawahar Lal Nehru was elected as the first Prime minister of India and Sardar Patel became his deputy and it was all done purely on merit. The official history has always downplayed the grave injustice that was done to the ‘Iron Man of India’ – Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. It’s not that the official history does not mention the emergence of Sardar Patel and not Jawahar Lal Nehru as the overwhelming choice of the Congress party to lead India after independence but it has been reduced to mere footnotes and nothing more. Today, on the 137th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabh BhaiPpatel, let’s revisit the entire intra-party power struggle within Congress on the eve of independence and let’s figure out what really went in favour of Jawahar Lal Nehru and what was it that deprived Sardar Patel his moment of glory despite the overwhelming support he enjoyed amongst the Congressmen. The entire rank and file of the Congress looked at Sardar Patel as the most deserving candidate to be sworn in as independent India’s first Prime Minister, given his proven track record of being an able administrator and a no-nonsense politician. Then what really went wrong? To find out the answer, we need to rewind back to 1946.
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