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'Patel agreed to idea of partition before Nehru, Gandhi'

Finance Minister P Chidambaram was quoting excerpts from Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's book

Press Trust Of India  |  New Delhi 

Joining debate with BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over partition, Finance Minister today quoted excerpts from Maulana Abul Kalam Azad's book to say that had agreed to the idea of division of the country before Nehru and Gandhi.

"Lord was extremely intelligent and could read the minds of all his Indian colleagues. The moment he found (Sardar Vallabhai) Patel amenable to his idea, he put out all the charm and power of his personality to win over the Sardar.

"As soon as had been convinced, Lord turned his attention to Jawaharlal. Jawaharlal was not at first at all willing and reacted violently against the very idea of partition, but Lord persisted till step by step Jawaharlal's opposition was worn down," he said quoting at length from Azad's book 'India Wins Freedom'.

Chidambaram's observation came a day after Modi accused Congress of committing the "sin" of partition and ignoring other heroes of the freedom struggle at the cost of Nehru- Gandhi family.

"Mr Prime Minister, I am aware that it is not in your hands what you should say or not say. But the country wants to know who changed the geography of India. The village in which you were born was a part of Hindustan. Today it is not. Who changed the geography. Who broke this country into pieces?" Modi had said.

Chidambaram retorted by saying, "A fair reading of the... account (provided by Azad) will show that partition was forced upon the country due to the intransigence of and Lord Mountbatten's plan to safeguard British interests."

First Published: Mon, November 11 2013. 20:59 IST
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