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Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Nehru had no spat: scholars

New Delhi, Nov 7 (): Sardar Vallabhai Patel being called a communalist by Nehru for asking military action against Hyderabad Nizam is not true.

Two scholars who have researched the military action to integrate Hyderabad state with the union in 1948 have debunked BJP leader LK Advani’s blog on Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s spat with Sardar Vallabhai Patel on this issue.

In his latest blog posting, Advani has referred to portions of a book written by MKK Nair, which deals with the conflict between Nehru and Sardar Vallabhai Patel in a Cabinet meeting before military action against Hyderabad.

In his blog, Advani quoted a book written by MKK Nair, an ICS officer who said that Nehru at a cabinet meeting had opposed the military action and dubbed Sardar Vallabhai Patel a communalist for seeking military action.

AG Noorani,veteran journalist and chronicler, whose book on the Hyderabad action is to be released on November 29, says both of them agreed that police action was the only solution left. Nehru had some reservations because the military action could destroy the culture of Hyderabad.

Sardar Vallabhai Patel was indifferent to this concern and they finally agreed to go ahead, Noorani told the Hindustan Times newspaper from Mumbai.

Srinath Raghavan, who has extensively studied the Hyderabad action, also has got cabinet papers, records of discussions and personal letters that relate to the military action.

On August 27, Nehru in a letter clearly said that if military action is initiated against Hyderabad, then there will be lawlessness. He said it was absurd to suggest that Nehru attacked Sardar Vallabhai Patel since he was part of the cabinet decision in July 1948 that ratified the use of the Indian army.

Raghavan said recorded minutes of the Cabinet Defense Committee, the highest body on military matters, clearly pointed to a forthcoming cabinet decision.

Nair’s version quoted by Advani in his blog does not mention any particular date.
This raises further doubts about the authenticity of the version because all the official documentation gathered by Raghavan in India and the United Kingdom show Nehru agreeing to the decision to confront the Nizam of Hyderabad through military action.

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