Is someone pushing this personal belief as a historic Fact?
As a person who has read history books for sheer curiosity, I can say with adequate responsibility that Mahatma Gandhi indeed favored Jahawar Lal Nehru over Vallabh Bhai Patel as India’s First PM. Because Mahatma Gandhi’s view on any contemporary matter or any matter related to INC was the final view; hence his support for Jawahar Lal Nehru over Vallabh Bhai Patel would had been sufficient enough to seal the post in Nehru’s favour.
Had Mahatma Gandhi had any soft corner for Jawahar Lal Nehru?
According to some renowned historians, Gandhi believed that Jawahar Lal Nehru would be able to carry and take forward his (Gandhi’s) picture of Independent India (an India which is diverse in terms of religion, culture, ethnicity, language, economic diversity, caste, creed, food, traditions etc.) better than Vallabh Bhai Patel, that’s why for him, Nehru was always the first choice for PM.
If anyone wants to see the above as a soft corner for Nehru, then they can do as well. As using one term or the other will not stop the preference from being a subjective preference.
So over all it can be said that Mahatma Gandhi favored Nehru over Vallabh Bhai Patel as India’s First PM.
But can the above be put as one of these facts:
Mahatma Gandhi had some hidden agenda against Patel.
Nehru and Patel didn’t tolerate each other.
Nehru didn’t want to play second in command to anyone.
The answer will be NO.
We cannot take any of the above three, as Facts.
The more plausible explanation for Gandhi favoring Nehru over Patel can emerge from a simple re-engineering of the Present. During the 2004-2014 Congress led UPA regime, majority of party persons were very publicly in favor of Sonia Gandhi as PM. It was Sonia Gandhi who put forward Dr. Manmohan Singh’s name as PM, and the party persons backed the decision. The same thing happened before 2014, when some power groups within and outside BJP led NDA helped create a consensus over Narendra Modi as the alliance’s PM Candidate. It will be wrong to assume that someone else in the BJP or NDA was intentionally pulled down to make way for Modi. Even if someone’s candidature is not considered at that time, they still accept other roles. The more logical explanation is that it’s all about garnering support for one’s candidature. It is also about allying oneself with someone who wields the decision making power.
It appears that at the time of Independence Gandhi had a final say on most issues. It also appears that it was not Gandhi alone favoring Nehru. Majority of party persons in INC and people at large in the country were favoring Nehru.