Information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday that had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been given a free hand, Kashmir would have completely become an integral part of India.
If the then home minister had been allowed to tackle the issue, Kashmir Valley would not have been witnessing the current unrest, he said.
“Unfortunately he was not allowed to handle the issue. Had he been allowed, Kashmir would have been totally a part of India by thought, speech and action,” Naidu said.
The minister was speaking in Hyderabad at Tiranga Yatra as a part of ‘Aazadi 70 Saal, Yaad Karo Qurbani’.
Naidu described Patel as the iron man and the unifier of India and recalled the role played by him in ensuring the accession of the princely states to India.
Naidu said though the Tiranga Yatra campaign concluded in other parts of the country, as per the call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi it will continue till September 17 here, the Liberation Day of Hyderabad state.
He noted that even though people all over India celebrated freedom from British rule on August 15 in 1947, those living in the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad had to wait till September 17, 1948.
Naidu said the region was finally liberated from the tyrannical Nizam’s rule and integrated with the rest of India in 1948, thanks to the steely and firm resolve of Vallabhbhai Patel.
“The obduracy of the Nizam to retain Hyderabad as an independent state left Patel with no other option but to send the army and liberate it,” he said.
“The swift and clinical operation by the Indian Army put paid to the Nizam’s plans and forced him to surrender. It also ended the violence unleashed by Razaakars, the private militia of the Nizam which was led by Qasim Razvi, who later fled to Pakistan,” Naidu added.
He urged the Telangana government to officially celebrate Hyderabad Liberation Day as was being done in some districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka, which were then part of the Hyderabad state.
“It is unfortunate that some political parties are viewing from the prism of vote-bank politics, even in matters related to the nation’s integrity. There should not be any kind of politics, leave alone vote-bank politics, when it comes to unity and integrity of the nation and all Indians should speak in one voice,” he added.
Union labour and employment minister Bandaru Dattatreya, the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders of Telangana, party activists and school children participated in the Tiranga Yatra.