HISTORY OF INDIA 2
We were about to become an Independent India. What happened just before that most important time in the Indian and the World history, we as patriotic Indians must know:
In 1937 Muslim League lost the General Election. Immediately after that they went on a war path against Congress in general and Hindus in particular. This was the beginning of the polarization of Indian populace on religious lines.
To diffuse the situation to some extent, Gandhiji wisely thought of making Maulana Azad as the President of the Congress party. Maulana Azad did become the President of Congress and continued to remain so efficiently for the next 6 years. Till 1946, due to World War II, Quit India Movement and as most of the Congress members were in prison, the election for the position of President could not take place. And Maulana Azad continued in that position and was discharging his duties till 1946.
Now the world war ended and freedom for India was not too far. And therefore there was a need to elect a President for the Congress party. 12 out of 15 PCC (Provincial Congress Committees) nominated the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It does not mean that the other 3 recommended Jawaharlal Nehru.
In fact except a few working committee members, no PCC recommended Nehru for that position. In a meeting Gandhi announced the same and asked Nehru "What to do under these circumstances?". Silence was the only answer that he gave.
Maulana Azad suggested election for the post. But by then Gandhiji had Nehru very strongly in his mind and had been quite transparent about his thought for several years in the past.
Even by the due date of 29.04.1946, no nomination came in favor of Jawaharlal Nehru. J.B.Kriplani went around in support of Nehru and collected few working committee members to propose his name. By then Gandhiji was indicated clearly that Nehru will take no second place.
Then a great drama was enacted.
It was thought, that the only way is to request Patel to withdraw. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a great leader and a greater patriot. He thought the country must not divide on this issue. For him the country was greater than him becoming the President of Congress party and later the Prime Minister of the country. He sacrificed
In Dr.Rajendra Prasad's words later:
"Once again sacrificing his trusted lieutenant for the sake of glamorous Nehru"