National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founding father, did not insist on partition. He blamed India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his deputy Sardar Vallabhai Patel for the “division” of India, PTI reported.

“We still have records of a commission that came in,” the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said at an event in Jammu. “It was decided that we will not divide India, but instead, have a special representation for Muslims and other minorities like Sikhs.”

Abdullah said Jinnah had agreed to this, “but Nehru, Patel and [Congress leader] Maulana Abul Kalam Azad did not listen”. He claimed this led Jinnah to form Pakistan, and that if Nehru, Patel and the others had listened, “there would have been no Bangladesh, no Pakistan”. “There would have been one India,” he said, according to ANI.

The National Conference leader’s comments drew sharp criticism. Union minister Jitender Singh asked him to “re-read the history of the sub-continent”.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jammu and Kashmir Spokesperson Anil Gupta said Abdullah was “selectively quoting” from history to “please his vote bank, but it was triggering communal passions”.

“Abdullah referred to the Cabinet Mission that visited India in 1946,” Gupta said. “But he conveniently ignored that the demand for Pakistan was first made by Jinnah much earlier, in 1940.”