Which pairs contributed significantly to integrate the princely states into Indian Union?

(A) Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru
(B) Sardar Patel and V.P. Menon
(C) Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi
(D) Sardar Patel and K.M. Munsi

Correct Answer : Sardar Patel and V.P. Menon
Question Asked : SSC Combined Graduate Level Prelim Exam 2002, SSC FCI Assistant Grade-III Exam 2012, SSC CGL Tier-I (CBE) Exam 2016
Explanation : At the time of Indian independence, India was divided into two sets of territories, the first being the territories of “British India,” which were under the direct control of the India Office in London and the Governor-General of India, and the second being the “Princely states, “the territories over which the Crown had suzerainty, but which were under the control of their hereditary rulers. In addition, there were several colonial enclaves controlled by France and Portugal. The integration of these territories into Dominion of India, created by the Indian Independence Act 1947 by the British parliament, was a declared objective of the Indian National Congress, which the Government of India pursued over the years 1947 to 1949. Through a combination of tactics, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and V.P. Menon in the months immediately preceding and following the independence convinced the rulers of almost all of the hundreds of princely states to accede to India.
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