Vithalbhai Patel And Vallabhbhai Patel

We are somewhat surprised to learn on very good authority that Mr. V. J. Patel is a candidate for the post of President of the Legislative Assembly. The election takes place, we think, next August when the Assembly will meet for the autumn session at Simla. But already very active canvassing is said to be going on. The post carries with it a monthly honorarium of rupees four thousand and from the pecuniary point of view it is certainly something to tempt even very capable men. But at the same time, acceptance of this position will mean the death of the political life of the Honourable member who may be induced to do so. Mr. Patel is one of the stalwarts of the Swarajya Party. He is about the most uncompromising opponent of the present system of administration in this country. He has been the most outspoken advocate of mass civil disobedience through which he believes India will achieve her political emancipation without striking a single blow or shedding one drop of blood. For such a man to seek the presidential chair of the Assembly means political suicide for himself and an irreparable loss of driving force to the Party of which he is one of the most prominent leaders. Yet we hear that even his own Party is ready to vote him into this place. Perhaps the motive here is to get this inconvenient partisan out of the way. For it is notorious that Mr. Patel made Pandit Motilal's position anything but pleasant during the passage of the Tariff Act last summer. Be that however as it may, this readiness on the part of so strong a Swarajist to accept office, though it may be an elective one, does not indicate a healthy tendency in the Swarajist Party. No one who wants to fight for Swaraj can afford just now to bury himself in the presidential chair of the legislature. If Mr. Patel be really elected the Assembly will certainly be the poorer for the loss of his fighting speeches and his unconscious humour.

Courtesy : Indian Opinion - June 12th, 1925