Sardar Vallabbhai Patel aka Iron Man was the first Deputy Prime Minister of India, and he had a huge role in India’s Independence. Apart from Independence he had also played a pivotal role in the integration of over 500 princely states into the Indian Union. However, we all know that even Sardar Vallabbhai Patel was also in the race to become the first Prime Minister of Independent India but he had to satisfy himself with Deputy Prime Minister.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru were part of the Congress, after Nehru was appointed as prime minister a conflict started inside Congress party. Patel was not happy with Nehru and how he worked as the prime minister. He visited Gandhiji and told him if Nehru did not change his way of working, he would resign from his post. Gandhi knew that without Patel, Nehru would not be able to handle the newly independent country. He asked Patel to promise him that he won’t resign from the position of deputy prime minister.
Patel would have never thought that he was meeting Bapu for the last time. He kept his promise made to Gandhi and never resigned. Gandhiji was assassinated On January 30, 1948 in Delhi’s Birla Bhawan. After Gandhi’s death, Patel’s speech at Benaras Hindu University on November 25, 1948, clearly showed that the relationship between the two was emotional and complex.
“I claim to be nothing more than an obedient soldier of him like the millions who obeyed his call. There was a time when every one used to call me his blind follower. But, both he and I knew that I followed him because our convictions tallied,” said the Sardar in his speech.-Inputs from India Today.