In a controversial statement, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has said that Muhammad Ali Jinnah never wanted to “divide” India.

The National Conference (NC) chief instead blamed former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Maulana Azad for the partition.

“Jinnah was not going to divide the country… there was a commission and it was decided that India won’t be divided. There will be a special representation for minorities– Sikhs and Muslims but there would be no partition,” said Abdullah on Saturday.

However, it was Indian leaders’ refusal to accept this status for Muslims and Sikh that led to Jinnah’s demand for Pakistan, Abdullah said.

“Jinnah agreed but Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad and Sardar Patel did not agree. When this did not happen it was then that Jinnah demanded for Pakistan or else there would have been no separation,” he said.

“There would have been no Bangladesh, no Pakistan; there would have been one India,” he added.

(With agency inputs)