Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru declined Nepal’s King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah's offer that the Himalayan nation be made a province of India, writes late President Pranab Mukherjee in his autobiography, 'The Presidential Years'. While expressing his views on former prime ministers and presidents of India, he mentioned, “Every PM has his or her own style of functioning. Lal Bahadur Shastri took positions that were very different from that of Nehru. There can be divergent perceptions among PMs, even if they happen to come from the same party, on issues such as foreign policy, security and internal administration.”
Nehru dealt with Nepal very diplomatically, Mukherjee writes. "After the Rana rule was replaced by the monarchy in Nepal, he wished for democracy to take root. Interestingly, Nepal’s king, Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah, had suggested to Nehru that Nepal be made a province of India. But Nehru rejected the offer on the grounds that Nepal was an independent nation and must remain so,” he says.
Mukherjee’s revelations come as a shocker since Nepal is strategically important to India to position itself against China and Nehru missed an opportunity to include Nepal to the Indian Union. At the same time he couldn’t hold on to the territory the Indian government inherited after the partition. Nehru’s blunders on foreign policy are the reason for the troubles India is facing in the region.