The French forced themselves on Hyderabad during the Carnatic war where Salabat Jung was made the Nizam. The extremely high salaries the French had(Rs 72000 per month) and the way in which Hyderabadi troops were stopped their wages to pay the French started to slowly alienate the French from the normal public. Syed Lashkar Khan, the Diwan of Hyderabad, decided to neck out the French whom the Nizam Salabat Jung was favouring using these differences.
In Apr 1753, he wrote a letter to the English to help him in ejecting the French out. This was intercepted by the French. In another letter in July 1753, he asked for material support, which the British were not in a position to give because of their politics in Carnatic.
First, the Diwan withheld the salaries for the French Army – 300 Europeans, 2000 Sepoys plus an additional 5000 under the personal command of Bussy – the total amount amounting to 29 lakhs per annum. This, compounded with an outbreak of small pox pushed the French to dire straits and the troopers started to desert.
The French commander Goupil raised the issue of ceding Northern Circars for payment with his superior Moracin, who was reluctant to take any decision without involving Bussy, who was seriously ill.
Salabat Jung was in a position to pay only 2,00,000 which means there are an arrears of around Rs 70000. For this, Syed Lashkar Khan said that the Nizam was unable to pay because the Polygars are not paying their tributes regularly and the Nizam is not able to divert his attention over that. He suggested, French collect the revenues. By this, they will be helping the Nizam as well as getting their money. Goupil accepted it and the consequence was that his army was scattered in small bands all over the south of the kingdom. Many soldiers deserted while the Europeans misused their powers there by alienating the landlords who demanded justice from the Nizam. The same situation was to be seen in the Northern Circars shortly.
At the moment, the Diwan suggested that the Nizam march to Aurangabad with a small army to prevent it from being attacked by Raghoji Bhonsle and the Raja of Nirmal. On this, the Diwan then went to the French to ask for troops for the mission, there by further fragmenting them. de Mainville was sent with 100 Europeans and 100 Sepoys with orders to guard the Nizam but not to venture into war. And that if something happens to Salabat Jung, he should accept the new Nizam.
While leaving for Aurangabad, Lashkar Khan sent instructions to the Qilledar of Golconda, Mir Mahmud Khan to harass the French as much as possible and sent orders to the seize the forts of Khammammet, Kondavid and Guntur which were granted as jagirs to Bussy. He hoped that the French leave Deccan in resignation. He was also trying to incite the Marathas to attack the French. Dupleix was able to intercept some of the letters of the Diwan and understood the seriousness of the issue. He granted Bussy special powers not to await for his decision and sent him to Hyderabad.
He asked Goupil and others who were collecting revenues else where to return to Hyderabad and extracted the dues from the Qilledar of Golconda, who provided the balance amount from his pocket and from bankers. While looking at the revenue collection records of the French, he understood how seriously they undermined their position by over reaching.
Seeing this, Lashkar Khan then made the Nizam write a letter to Dupleix asking him to deduct the arrears from the 50 lakhs which Dupleix owed the Nizam. For that, Lashkar Khan proposed that they collect the revenue from the granted Circars. But, Lashkar Khan wrote letters to the Zamindars in the area not to pay anything to the French and to attack French possessions. The first attack was by Raja Ramachandra of Ongole who seized Bandurti.
Then he arrested the Nizam’s brothers, Nizam Ali and Balasat Jung for intriguing with Mainville against the Nizam and ordered Mainville back to Hyderabad. When he got to know Mahmud Khan paid Bussy, he got him replaced.
Bussy then decided to resolve the issue militarily and Dupleix sent additional 350 men in his support to attack Aurangabad. He wrote a letter to the Nizam saying it was because of the French that you are on the throne and complained over the dismissal of Muhammad Khan and warned of large scale actions against him. At the gates of Aurangabad, Lashkar Khan submitted to Bussy and perceiving his popularity, instead of going for his head, Bussy asked the Northern Circars be ceded. Currently, Jaffer Ali was collecting the revenue from the Northern Circars for the Mughal Emperor. It was decided that if Jaffer Ali did not send the money on time, the money will be collected from Nizam’s treasury.
After this, Bussy set up an anti-Diwan party and forced him to resign. Instead of getting him arrested and sent to Masulipatnam, he asked Lashkar Khan be given Berar keeping in mind his popularity. Berar was actually in control of Raghoji Bhonsle. This means Lashkar Khan will be occupied for a long time.
It’s a different thing that the French lost out because they supported both Mysore and Hyderabad in one case and had both Murari Rao and Hyderabad in another and were shunted out for this duplicity.
Has he won the bout, would he have allowed the British into Hyderabad?