Do you think, like Indian National Congress's Jairam Ramesh does, that the Kashmir dispute began with then-king Hari Singh panicking at the sight of Pakistani tribals and army regulars invading his kingdom and asking for the territory's accession to India? Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has challenged this popular belief in response to a tweet by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.
The union minister said that it was Jawaharlal Nehru who had delayed Kashmir's accession to India and not Maharaja Hari Singh who was the king of Jammu and Kashmir during the independence period.
The spar began on Twitter when Jairam Ramesh, who is the INC's general secretary in charge of communication, shared a series of tweets on Kashmir's accession to India. He said, "Maharaja Hari Singh dithered on accession. There were dreams of independence. But when Pakistan invaded, Hari Singh acceded to India. Sheikh Abdullah [who was later elected as the first chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir] championed accession to India entirely because of his friendship with and admiration for Nehru, and his respect for Gandhi. Sardar Patel was okay with J&K joining Pakistan till September 13 1947, when the Nawab of Junagadh acceded to Pakistan."
This happened a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a rally in Gujarat, said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel resolved the issues of other princely states' merger with India, but "one person" could not resolve the Kashmir issue, in an indirect reference to Jawaharlal Nehru.
Quoting Jairam Ramesh's tweet, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said, "The first time Maharaja Hari Singh approached Nehru for accession to India was July 1947 itself, a full month before Independence. It was Nehru who rebuffed the Maharaja. Other states were accepted. Kashmir was rejected," Rijiju said, adding that the "historic lie" of Maharaja Hari Singh dithering on the question of accession has gone for too long.
This 'historical lie', that Maharaja Hari Singh dithered on question of accession of Kashmir with India has gone on for far too long in order to protect the dubious role of J.L.Nehru. ⁰
Let me quote Nehru himself to bust the lie of @Jairam_Ramesh. 1/6⁰https://t.co/US4XUKAF8E
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) October 12, 2022
"Not only did Nehru reject Maharaja Hari Singh's request for accession in July 1947, but Nehru was dithering in October 1947 as well. This was when Pakistani invaders had reached within kilometres of Srinagar," Rijiju said. "Nehru conjured up some 'special' case for Kashmir and wanted 'much more' than mere accession. What was that special case? Vote bank politics?" he further asked, claiming that India is still paying the price for Nehru's follies.