Nehru was wrong, Patel right in dealing with J&K issue: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday asserted that Indias first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru took a wrong approach in dealing with the Jammu and Kashmir issue after Independence. Prasad said the thinking of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the countrys first home minister, was in the right direction on Jammu and Kashmirs accession to India. There were 660 princely states in the country at the time of Independence. Sardar Patel dealt with all the other princely states except Jammu and Kashmir, and there were no problems at all. Jawaharlal Nehru dealt with the issue of Jammu and Kashmir (on its accession to India) and the problem exists till today, he said. The Union law minister was addressing the BJPs Jan Jagran Abhiyan (public awareness campaign) here on the Centres decision to abrogate Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir. This shows that Patels thinking was right while Jawaharlal Nehrus approach was wrong. We must accept this first, Prasad added. Referring to a book written by Patels secretary, V Shankar, Prasad said the then home minister had told him that Article 370 will be scrapped the day a leader with courage will come. A leader with courage and conviction is here in the form of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has scrapped the Article 370 after 70 years in one stroke, the law minister said. Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Mumbai said that Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) would not have come into existence had Nehru not declared untimely ceasefire with the neighbouring country. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also spoke at the Jan Jagran Abhiyan here, said Nehrus first mistake was that he himself took the mantle of resolving the Jammu and Kashmir problem, instead of leaving it to Patel. Prasad also said that 166 different laws will be enforced in Jammu and Kashmir soon. Speaking about Pakistan, the law minister said, There is no need to even talk about Pakistan, which is selling its donkeys to earn foreign currencies.