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Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, did not act in Kashmir’s Desh Hith: Justice Minister Rijiju

India’s first prime minister did not act in ‘desh hith’ (national interest) when it came to Kashmir, Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju said, speaking exclusively to CNN News18, and continued his attack on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Congress refuted Rijiju’s attack on Nehru, pointing out that Sardar Patel was also a party to Nehru’s decisions on Kashmir until September 1947, while the party’s Nasir Hussain said “blaming Nehru on the pattern of the BJP”.

The Justice Minister said: “Pandit Nehru was more concerned about protecting Sheikh Abdullah… , jo unke mitr the, unka hith…ya Nehru ji ka apna mat pehle aata hai.”

Rijiju wondered why the views of the then King of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, were not taking precedence.

ALSO READ | ‘India pays price until today’, Rijiju condemns congress for defending Nehru’s ‘gaps’ in Kashmir

“Nehru ji did not accept Hari Singh’s opinion. In all other princely states, 500+, Sardar Patel made sure the kings and queens were brought on board. There was no plebiscite or the taking of positions of people or other organizations. Why did Nehru ji go to Kashmir?” the minister asked, adding that it was wrong to deny the ruler’s vote only in the case of Kashmir.

Nasir Hussain said: “This is a patron of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), they make blunders and then blame Nehru for everything. Can this minister tell us what is happening at the border between India and China? What’s the situation there? No, because they have no answers, they are blaming Nehru for everything. If Nehru was doing things for his personal agenda, we wouldn’t have this infrastructure, IITs and IIMs. The BJP should do some work instead of blaming the Gandhis and Nehru for everything.”

This is the second time in two weeks that Rijiju has repeated his accusation of “Nehruvian blunders”. Writing for News18, he had said: “It was unfortunate that even Congress leader Dr Karan Singh failed to set the record on Kashmir straight.”

Rijiju has argued that “five historical blunders” by Nehru were responsible for the bloodshed in the valley. He argued that all decisions, starting from using a wrong article to bring the issue of Kashmir to the UN to introducing special status under Article 370, were responsible for the unrest in Kashmir.

ALSO READ | ‘Last Entrant to Club Of Distorians’: Jairam Ramesh Digs To Kiren Rijiju On Nehru-J&K Debate

“Whatever differences and problems we had could have been resolved internally, but by taking the matter into the international realm, you were giving Pakistanis and separatists leverage … this was totally undesirable,” he said, adding that the mistakes now be made with the removal of “This article has caused so much pain in uniting the minds of Kashmiris with India … this article made Jammu and Kashmir feel that they were different … that Indian laws do not apply to them were … it is very important for younger generation to know that historical blunders have been committed,” Rijiju said.

Responding to the congressional counter that Sardar Patel was also a party to the decisions, Rijiju said the documents he cited reflect Nehru’s views in the constituent assembly or in his correspondence. The records do not indicate that the views he expressed belonged to anyone else.

ALSO READ | ‘Let me quote Nehru himself…’: Justice Minister Rijiju condemns Jairam Ramesh’s ‘historical lie’ about Kashmir

“If this decision was made by the cabinet, then we would blame the cabinet… but if Nehru has said anything, we will only attribute it to him… there should be no confusion,” he said.

Rijiju argued that Nehru’s decisions were motivated and it is wrong to say that Kashmir’s accession was delayed because Maharaja Hari Singh hesitated.​

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