Cong slams Rijiju for claiming Nehru did not want Tawang to be part of India

NEW DELHI, 4 Nov: The Congress on Friday termed as “utter lie” union minister Kiren Rijiju’s claim that India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, did not want Tawang to be a part of India, and shared two declassified telegrams on Twitter to rebut him.

In an interview to ‘India Today’, Rijiju claimed that in 1951 when the then governor sent an Assam Rifles team to Tawang, it was merged with India by the paramilitary unit.

 “When Nehru came to know about it, the governor was admonished by the prime minister when he visited Delhi. The Congress says Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang are part of India but the Congress had refused to accept Tawang as part of India,” the law minister said.

Reacting to the remarks, Congress general secretary in charge of communications Jairam Ramesh said, “Kiren Rijiju, the latest entrant to the Modi stable of distorians, now says Nehru did not want Tawang to be part of India. This utter lie is exposed by two top secret telegrams that were declassified in 2018.”

Ramesh shared the two telegrams – the first one being from the Indian mission in Lhasa and the second being its reply.

“The first telegram is dated 11 March, 1951, which Nehru would have seen as the external affairs minister. The second telegram is dated 14 March, 1951, which Nehru would have drafted or approved as the minister concerned,” he said in a series of tweets, and shared screenshots of the contents of the communication.

Both these telegrams are contained in Volume I of the ‘India-China Relations 1947-2000: A Documentary Study’ edited by Avtar Singh Bhasin (2018), Ramesh said.

“The conclusion is irrefutable: the raising of the Indian flag at Tawang in early February, 1951 was a policy decision based on strategic considerations. The exact timing of the operation had been left by Nehru and others to local commanders,” he said. (PTI)