(Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel resigned from his office of Home Minister and only after much persuasion from Jawaharlal Nehru he remained in the office. In this letter to Jawaharlal Nehru on 3 February, 1948 he took the responsibility, as the Home Minister, of failure in Gandhi’s security and reiterated his resignation)

New Delhi

3 February, 1948

My Dear Jawaharlal,

I enclose herewith two Press cuttings, one from the Statesman of today (in the “Letters to the Editor” column) and another from a well known communist whose speech is reported in the Madras Mail. Of course they do not know that my resignation is already there. I had written again to Bapu when I left for Bombay on the last occasion but his unexpected death has left the matter in the air.

The Statesman’s contention takes a constitutional stand and I think he [the correspondent] is right. This is an additional reason for my resignation. Your yesterday’s speech has also reinforced the need for such as obvious failure. I do not wish to do anything to embarrass you at this critical juncture, but when there is a public demand, a challenge which is obviously justified, I feel I must once again request you to help me.

Yours sincerely,

Vallabhbhai Patel

ENCLOSURES:

 

Sir,

Sardar Patel should resign for the failure of his Security Department to protect Mahatma Gandhi. There was ample warning of brewing disaffection against Gandhiji when the bomb was thrown at his prayer meeting.

When King Alexander of Yugoslavia and the French Foreign Minister were assassinated in Marseilles, the French Minister of the Interior tendered his resignation; he publicly admitted his lapse in not being able to protect so distinguished a visitor.

Yours etc.,

A. Sanyal

Calcutta

31 January 1948

 

The Statesman,

New Delhi

3 February 1948

From our correspondent-
Bezwada, 31 January 1948—

 

A youth was stabbed to death and thirty persons were seriously injured in a sudden clash between two parties stated to be Communist and members of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. Eight persons have been admitted to hospital.

The news that Gandhiji was assassinated by the editor of a Hindu Mahasabha paper caused tension among rival political parties here and culminated in a clash.

Mr. P. Sundarayya, a Communist leader, addressing a public meeting here, said that the Hindu Mahasabha, RSS and Sardar Patel planned to kill the Mahatma with a view to perpetuating fascist rule in India. This allegation caused bitterness in a vast section of the people.

About 8,000 RSS volunteers from all over Andhra assembled in the town to have a rally, which was, however, cancelled due to Gandhiji’s death.

The Communist propaganda aggravated the situation and a clash broke out when a car carrying RSS volunteers was attacked, injuring some of them.

Street-fight is reported in Gandhinagar and Governorpet areas between RSS volunteers and Communists. A crude bomb exploded near the taluk office at 5 p.m. Fortunately none was injured.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate has promulgated an order under Sec. 144 Cr. PC for a week.

Madras Mail,
1 February 1948