Panaji: Stirring a controversy, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama stated that India and Pakistan would have remained united had Jinnah become the Prime Minister instead of Jawaharlal Nehru. He even went on to call Nehru "self-centered".
During an interaction at the Goa Institute of Management, the spiritual leader said, "Look at India, Mahatma Gandhi wanted Prime Ministership to go to Jinnah but Nehru refused to agree. I think Pandit Nehru was a little self-centered."
He further said, "If Mahatma Gandhi's wish had materialised then India and Pakistan would have been united." Holding Nehru responsible for the partition, the Dalai Lama said, "I know Pandit Nehru very well, he was a very experienced person, very wise but sometimes mistake also happens."
Reacting to the Dalai Lama's comments, BJP senior leader Subramanian Swamy said that the Dalai Lama should have spoken about this before and it did not hold much value now.
Swamy said, "These are historical issues and hold value for historical debates. Yes, it is true that Mahatma Gandhi wanted Jinnah to be the Prime Minister as he would have been a minority Prime Minister and he could be removed once the British were gone. But it is also true that Jawaharlal Nehru only thought about himself. Gandhi was only thinking of how the British could be removed. But these are now academic questions and hardly make sense to discuss now."