India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. (File Photo)
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Friday, that the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was guilty of "letting people of north-east region down" during the 1962 Indo-China war, while accusing the Congress of "forgetting" India's "true heroes" like Subhash Chandra Bose and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
"After 1947, more than 565 princely states were brought together by Sardar Patel but he did not get credit; those who failed, were unsuccessful, they kept on writing history," the Minister of State for Home, hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, said at a function organised by the BJP on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel jayanti celebrations.
He said the Chinese seized his village during the war in 1962 and reached even up to Assam, while Nehru assured people of the region, then known as North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), that "we will save you" but later announced "surrender" to the Chinese on All India Radio and "he (Nehru) said tata, bye, bye and left us".
Mr Rijiju said patriotic people of the region, however, asserted at the time that India need not surrender and "we will not leave India and stood unitedly to remain with India".
"It's a matter of regret that our Prime Minister left us (let us down). Sardar Patel united the country.
"This is history", he said alleging that the Congress Party "kept the true history under wraps, kept praising itself and did not take the country in the right direction".
The Minister said most people were even kept in the dark about October 31 being the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. This, he said, was done by the Congress during its regime at the Centre. He termed it an "injustice" and a "big sin" against the "Iron Man of India".