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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Princely Threats

Several of the 602 rajas, nawabs and other rulers seek independence after the British withdrawal; Congress stems the move to 'balkanise' the country

Princely Threats
Princely Threats
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

THE haste with which the Congress leaders had accepted the June 3 plan involving Partition did not commend itself to the entire party. As the All India Congress Committee session called on June 14-15 to endorse the decision approached, there were rumblings of discontent from groups who felt that the leaders had betrayed the cause. Prominent among them was the socialist group headed by Jayaprakash Narayan. They argued that the Congress leaders had lost their revolutionary zeal and the party was becoming a constitutionalist status quo party.

At the AICC session, JP and Rammanohar Lohia clashed repeatedly with Nehru and Patel. JP said Gandhi had been kept in the dark about the negotiations with the viceroy. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad expressed unhappiness over the manner in which Partition had been accepted. But Gandhi didn't want to weaken the Congress on the eve of the transfer of power. When the leaders asked him to intervene, he agreed though it meant endorsing the plan for Partition which he had opposed until the last moment. The reason, he explained, was that neither he nor the other dissidents were strong enough to take over the party. There was no practical alternative now to supporting the leadership.

Turning to those opposing the resolution, he asked pointedly if they had the strength to take over the party and the government if the resolution was defeated and the Congress Working Committee obliged to resign. "You have a perfect right to do so (vote against the June 3 plan), he told them, "if you feel you have the strength, but I do not feel that strength in us today." Then the agony came through. "If you had the strength," he repeated, "I would also be with you, and if I felt strong enough myself I would, alone, take up the nag of revolt. But today I do not see the conditions for doing so." The resolution was passed by 153 votes to 29, with 36...

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