BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday said Pakistan would not have been holding a part of Kashmir and Article 370 would not have existed had Sardar Vallabhai Patel, instead of Jawharlal Nehru, handled the Kashmir issue.
"....even today a big part of Kashmir is under Pakistan. I don't have any hesitation in telling you that if Kashmir issue was also given to Sardar Patel instead of Jawaharlal Nehru....the part of Kashmir would not have gone under Pakistan; Article 370 also wouldn't have been there and it would have remained as any other territory of India," he said.
Shah said "it is because of Sardar Patel, his firm determination and his ability to understand people we are all together, we have to always remember this." He was speaking at a function after laying foundation stone for the statue of Patel and a martyrs' memorial at Gorta village in Bidar district in north Karnataka.
Gorta is called Jalianwala Bagh of South India after the militia of the Nizam of Hyderabad massacred some 200 people of the village for hoisting the Indian flag on May 9, 1948. Gorta was under the Nizam rule. Nizam's were reluctant to be a part of Indian Union but under the "Operation Polo" in 1948, the state of Hyderabad became part of it.
Shah said, "If today this old Nizam state is part of united India, the credit has to go to Sardar Patel." Stating that Patel's life is an inspiration to many, he said "no one from his family is into politics; in spite of him being in public life for long no one knows about his family, this is what differentiates Patel."
"Despite being a known barrister in Gujarat, when he died his bank balance was only Rs 150. He lived a very simple life. I on this day of liberation day from the old Nizam state, pay my rich tributes to him on behalf of all countrymen." Shah also remembered the martyrs of Gorata massacre.
BJP has plans to unveil the martyrs memorial and statue of Sardar Patel on September 17, 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.