Historical Figures

62. Sardar Patel once again supported Gandhiji in the hour of crisis

In 1939, the Congress session was decided to be held in Tripura. Subhas Chandra Bose's name was proposed from most of the provinces to preside over the Tripura Conference. Subhash Chandra had presided over last year's convention and his popularity was at its peak at this time. The Gandhian leaders of the Congress wanted Maulana Azad to preside over the Tripura session. At this time the atmosphere of World War II was being created all over the world.

That is why Subhashbabu wanted that the Tripura session should be presided over by Subhashbabu himself so that the Congress does not make any lax compromise with the Viceroy and does not pass any unfair resolution in the Tripura session. If Subhashbabu had become the President of the Congress again, he would have got the leadership of the Congress for at least one year, which he would use to negotiate for the country's independence from the Viceroy under the shadow of World War II.

Jawaharlal, Jamnalal, Gandhiji, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and other big leaders asked Subhashbabu to withdraw his name. Subhashbabu said that my name has been proposed from most of the provinces, so I will definitely contest the election of the President. Maulana knew what it meant to contest elections in front of Subhashbabu. So he withdrew his name on the pretext of illness.

Gandhiji declared Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya as his candidate. Now the election could not be postponed. Before the election, Gandhiji and his followers worked very hard so that Gandhiji's candidate could get victory. On the night before the election, Gandhiji did not sleep and went to the house of Congressmen to persuade them to vote in favor of his candidate.

When the election results came, Subhashbabu won with a huge margin. Gandhiji declared with a smile that this was my defeat. Gandhiji, who taught the lesson of restraint, lost his restraint in this defeat and he created a rebellion in the Congress.

At the behest of Gandhiji, 15 members of the working committee resigned from the working committee. Subhashbabu tried to stop the disintegration of Congress but Gandhiji and his supporters decided to break ties with Subhashbabu. Subhashbabu resigned as president to save the Congress from breaking up. Gandhiji's supporters immediately elected Dr. Rajendra Prasad as the President.

On this critical occasion, many Congressmen had hoped that Sardar Patel would leave Gandhiji and support Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, but Sardar Patel remained silent throughout this episode. He had chosen Gandhi as his general and he was not ready to leave the army until the country's prestige came under threat.