Nehru’s birth anniversary: Congress, BJP clash again on his Kashmir policy | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: With increasing attacks by the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the Congress chose his 133rd birth anniversary on Monday to defend him and “expose every lie” being spread about him, particularly over his Kashmir policy.
From the BJP, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju has been on the forefront to attack Nehru’s policy on the merger of Kashmir with India.
In a tweet, Rijiju alleged that Nehru rejected Maharaja Hari Singh’s plea to accede to India not just once but three times. He said, “‘Friend First, India Second’ is what defined Nehru’s initial Kashmir policy in 1947. It led to tragic consequences for which India paid a price for seven decades.”
Last month Rijiju blamed Nehru twice for the delay in the merger of Kashmir with India. He named the 75th anniversary of Kashmir Accession Day on October 26 as ‘Kashmir blunders of Nehru’. In a series of tweets, he recounted five “blunders” of Nehru on Kashmir “that hobbled India for the next seven decades”.
He wrote, “1) Rejecting Maharaja Hari Singh’s request for accession in July 1947 itself to advance a personal agenda. 2) Declaring the eventual accession as Provisional 3) Approach UNO under Article 35 and NOT Article 51 4) Letting the myth perpetuate that UN mandated plebiscite was in any way an open question 5) Institutionalising the separatist mindset by creating Article 370.”
The minister lamented that seven decades were lost due to these “Nehruvian blunders” and that India paid a heavy price for it. Finally, history took a turn in 2019 when ‘India First’ became the only guiding principle, he said.
Rijiju said, “Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji undid the five Kashmir Blunders of Nehru and annulled Article 370 and fully integrated the region with India.”

Congress retaliates
Seeking to demolish the BJP and Rijiju’s sustained attacks on Nehru blaming hm for the Kashmir problem, the Congress posted a number of tweets.
In one of the tweets, it said, “… Nehru got Kashmir merged into India. This is true and the lies of BJP will not be able to cover up this truth. India is proud of her Jawahar.”
A video clip tweeted by the Congress said, “Was Nehru responsible for the delay in the merger of Kashmir in India? Recently, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju held Nehru responsible for the delay of Kashmir’s merger with India. Not just Rijiju but also all BJP leaders and workers believe so, whereas the truth is entirely different.”
The video statement said there were some princely states when India and Pakistan came into existence after partition. “Maharaja Hari Singh (king of Kashmir) kept silent when he was asked to choose between India and Pakistan. He was in favour of remaining independent. After a few days, when Pak-sponsored tribal raids took place in Kashmir, Nehru wrote a letter to Patel on September 27, 1947.”
In his letter to Sardar Patel, Nehru said the situation in Kashmir was deteriorating fast. Kashmir would be cut off from the remaining parts of India during the winter season. “The aerial route also closes down. Pakistan wants to send intruders in Kashmir. The Maharaja’s administration will not be able to deal with this threat. Time demands that the Maharaja release Sheikh Abdullah from prison. The Maharaja should obtain people’s support with the help of Sheikh Abullah. He (Sheikh Abdulah) has said that he will act on my advice,” Nehru said.
According to the Congress, Hari Singh had sent Sheikh Abdullah to jail for three years in 1946 in a case of treason. Patel contacted Hari Singh after Nehru’s letter and Sheikh Abdullah was released on September 29, 1947.
It further said when the tribal people invaded Kashmir, Hari Singh had sent Sheikh Abdulah to Delhi as his representative. “This is how a stubborn Hari Singh was forced to agree to sign the accession letter. Whatever false propaganda the BJP’s troll army may indulge in, Nehru, who was a fantastic politician and who had deep understanding of international diplomacy, left no effort for the merger of Kashmir with India. The BJP’s conspiracy to distort history and erase the legacy of Gandhi-Nehru will never succeed,” the Congress said.

In another tweet, the Congress said Nehru and Sardar Patel united the country on the basis of friendly relations and consultations. They did not allow the country to be divided on the basis of religion. “This is what hurts the Sangh-BJP. Every lie spread against Nehru is being exposed,” the Congress said.

The Congress countered some other allegations made against Nehru. “’I am unfortunately a Hindu.’ Jawaharlal Nehru never said this. This was stated by Hindu Mahasabha president NB Khare which was falsely spread by attributing it to Nehru. Today we are exposing every lie about Nehru spread by the Sangh mentality,” the Congress said.

The principal opposition party further said the first prime minister is being falsely accused of being a dynast. “History is a witness that Nehru gave importance to the country and its development, but not to his family,” the Congress said.

Nehru’s birth anniversary is observed as Children’s Day every year. The Congress said Nehru was a social democrat who coveted a welfare state. He was a humanist-secularist who sought national development on all fronts including agriculture and science.
“Today on his birth anniversary, we celebrate his endearing legacy… Today on National Children’s Day, we wish our bright starlings, the children of India, an awe-inspiring future, a righteous approach in life and a prodigious career. We wish to set an example and do our utmost for them,” it said.
Meanwhile, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, who was elected to the post on October 19, said Pandit Nehru was the maker of modern India. In a tweet he said 21st India could not be imagined without Nehru’s “tremendous contribution”.
“A champion of democracy, his progressive thoughts furthered India’s social, political and economic development, despite the challenges. My humble homage to a true patriot,” Kharge added.

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