Samaldas Gandhi was one of the eminent Indian freedom fighters who led the Temporary Government, also known as the Aarzi Hukumat, of the former Indian princely state of Junagadh. He was a follower and a relative of the leader of the Indian independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi. Presently, Samaldas Gandhi is extensively renowned in Junagadh and the modern Indian state of Gujarat as a patriot and a regional hero. After the country achieved independence from the British dominion, the last Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh, Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III, acceded his state to the newly formed Union of Pakistan on 15 August 1947, much to the discontent of the state's population, as most of them were Hindus. Even though the princely state was bounded by the Union of India on three sides and shared no direct border with Pakistan, the native ruler acceded to Pakistan on 15 September 1947, against the suggestion of Lord Mountbatten.
Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III Rasul Khanji, along with his family and his Prime Minister Shah Nawaz Bhutto, went to Pakistan on 24 October 1947. During this period, Samaldas Gandhi led the government-in-exile that was formed by the population of the Junagadh state, in order to depict the decision of the majority of the inhabitants who desired that the state to be incorporated as the newly independent Union of India instead.
On 9 November, the Indian Army took over the erstwhile princely state of Junagadh and its principalities, Manavadar and Mangrol, after receiving invitation from Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, who was the Diwan of the former Nawab of Junagadh. Samaldas Gandhi was requested to accept the administrative control of the state but deferred to the Government of India.
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