Sardar Patel was the man with foresight and diplomatic shrewdness to handle the integration of the princely states. The problem of amalgamating 562 independent states with a democratic self-governing India was delicate and difficult. But, it was essential to save India from balkanisation, once the paramountcy of British crown would lapse.
Sardar Patel took charge of the states department in July 1947. He sensed the urgent and imperative need of the integration of princely states. He followed an iron handed policy. He made it clear that he didn’t recognize the right of any state to remain independent and in isolation, within India.
Patel also appealed to the patriotic and national sentiment of the Princes and invited them to join the forming of a democratic constitution in the national interest. He persuaded them to surrender defence, foreign affairs and communications to the Government of India. He, by his tactics, broke the union of separatist Princes. By 15th August 1947, all except Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir acceded to India.
Sardar, thereafter, carried three fold process of assimilation, centralisation and unification of states. The states were amalgamated to form a union and that union was merged with the union of India.
He handled the Juangarh and Hyderabad crisis as a seasoned statesman. Nawab of Junagarh wanted to join Pakistan. When the people revolted, Patel intervened. Indian Government took over the administration. Patel merged it with India by holding a plebiscite.
Patel with an iron fist hand subdued the Nizam. When the Nizam boasted anti-India feelings and let loose a blood bath by the Raza Kars, Patel decided upon police action. He ordered the army to march into Hyderabad. The Nizam tamely surrendered and Hyderabad was acceded to India.
Thus Sardar Patel ensured by his calculated methods the absorb of a multitude of princely states into the Indian Union. Without a civil war, he secured the solidarity of the nation.