Had Patel been the Prime Minister of India, it’s hard to guess how things would be different. Yes, he had outstanding administrative abilities, after all he was tasked to strike deals with over 550 princely states post-independence. But Lal Bahadur Sastri had the same kind of skills and commitment, if not more.
When India got independence, the country was in much more need of a face that can bring people on the same ground. So Nehru was the first choice. Patel got the executive role to strengthen the core structure of India. While Nehru was tasked to bring everyone together, Patel was tasked to tie the assembled population tightly.
In short, Patel got to do what he was good at. And that’s all that matters. So, the idea that had he been the PM of India, what would have happened, is quite absurd. The role of Prime Minister requires a different set of skills, which fitted Nehru well over Patel. And this isn’t to say that Nehru was better. Had he been the Deputy PM, he would have been just as dire as Patel as PM.In short, at that time, everyone got the tasks that they were good at. Change in roles would have been bad for the country, whether it was change in the role of Nehru or change in the role of Patel.