HISTORY OF INDIA 3
So far we have seen the major players in the election of Congress President in 1946 after the completion of Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad's term. They were Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Nehru and Patel. While Gandhi played the game of harmony, Maulana Azad played a dual game of me or Nehru, Nehru played the game of assertion through silence.
He was very assertive in conveying his message silently, I am the No.1. If not, I am not there, and further 'Do not hold me responsible for divisions within Congress'. Sardar Patel's game was very clear. The country above me and my postings.
However, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad was the first to realize his folly and wrote later: "We differed on many issues but I am convinced that if he had succeeded me as Congress President he would have seen that the Cabinet Mission Plan was successfully implemented. He would have never committed the mistake of Jawaharlal which gave Mr. Jinnah an opportunity of sabotaging the Plan" . 'He' refers clearly to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Now comes the role of Rajaji. Rajagopala Chari had every reason to be very angry, unhappy and uncharitable to Sardar Patel (in the words of Prof.Makkhan Lal - Secular Politics Communal Agenda)
But the same Rajaji wrote almost 22 years after Patel’s death:
“When the independence of India was coming close upon us and Gandhiji was the silent master of our affairs, he had come to the decision that Jawaharlal, who among the Congress leaders was the most familiar with foreign affairs, should be the Prime Minister of India, although he knew Vallabhbhai would be the best administrator among them all…
“Undoubtedly it would have been better if Nehru had been asked to be the Foreign Minister and Patel made the Prime Minister. I too fell into the error of believing that Jawaharlal was the more enlightened person of the two… A myth had grown about Patel that he would be harsh towards Muslims. This was a wrong notion but it was the prevailing prejudice.”