Q. Consider the following statements regarding the integration of Princely States into the Indian Union:
1. Travancore was the first princely state to formally join the Indian Union.
2. K.M. Panikkar supported the idea of integration of Princely States into the Indian Union.
3. V.P. Menon was made the Minister-incharge of the States Department, formed to supervise the integration process.
How many of the above-given statements are correct?

[A] Only one

[B] Only two

[C] All three

[D] None

Answer: A
Notes:

Exp) Option a is the correct answer.

The constitutional status of Princely States during the deliberations of 1940s had remained largely ambiguous. The Cabinet Mission (1946) focused on United India vs Pakistan question. Similarly, on 3rd June, 1947, British announced both the date of their final withdrawal and creation of two dominions, but did not make clear the position of states. This complicated the integration process as some Princes had started dreaming of their independent nations.

Statement 1 is incorrect: Around 560 states had already joined the Union before the State of Travancore. Travancore was the first state to question the right of the Congress to succeed the British as paramount power. Geographically, it was strategically placed at the Southernmost tip of the sub-continent. Its dewan was Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyar, who had made clear his vision to make Travancore an independent state once the British left India.

Statement 2 is correct: The State of Bikaner was amongst the first ones to join the Indian Union. K.M. Panikkar was its dewan. He strongly urged other states to join Indian union and opined that integration is beneficial for the security of the states and unity of India. After Bikaner, dozens of other rulers joined Indian Union on the appeal of Panikkar.

Statement 3 is incorrect: A new States Department was set up by the Government of India to supervise the integration process. Vallabhai Patel was made the Minister in charge of this department. V.P. Menon was chosen as Secretary by Patel. He travelled different parts of India, persuaded Princes and acted as a mediator between Lord Mountbatten and Sardar Patel. He was instrumental in doing the groundwork for the integration of different Princely States.

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