Paying rich tributes on the 54th death anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh, former Union minister and MLA Chaman Lal Gupta said that the Maharaja was a great patriot, but "it was unfortunate that Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, under personal vendetta, did not extend fair treatment to the prince and let him die in exile on April 26, 1961".
Gupta recalled that Hari Singh was the first Indian prince who had favoured Indian independence at the Round Table Conference held at London in November, 1930.
"This brought many problems for the Maharaja, including the communal trouble of 1931," said Gupta.
"Braving all the pressures of the British, the Maharaja, using legal authority, opted for secular India instead of theoretic Pakistan. And thus, Jammu and Kashmir became legal and irrevocable part of the Indian Union," he added.
"Ironically, under personal and political considerations, Hari Singh was put in exile and he died in Mumbai," he added.