Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning flagged off a run to commemorate the 142nd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at India Gate. Large number of people, including sports personalities like Sardar Singh, Deepa Karmakar, Suresh Raina and Karnam Malleswari.
The 1.5 km ‘Run for Unity’ began from the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium and came to an end near the India Gate C-Hexagon-Shah Jahan Road radial.
Earlier in the morning, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Patel’s statue located at the Parliament street and offered floral tributes.
Several union ministers, senior officials and others also participated in the event.
“We salute Sardar Patel on his Jayanti. His momentous service and monumental contribution to India can never be forgotten,” Modi said while flagging off the run.
The prime minister said everyone in the country is proud of Patel’s contribution to India before it attained freedom and during the early years after the nation became independent.
The central government observes October 31 as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. Events are also organised by the state governments to remember Sardar on his birth anniversary.
Talking of ‘Run for Unity’, ace Hockey star Sardar Singh termed it a commendable initiative to showcase country’s unity and integrity. Gymnast Deepa Karmakar said she was proud to be part of the run, which is being organised to remember the contributions of Patel in unifying the country.
Vallabhbhai Patel, affectionately referred to as Sardar Patel was born on 31 October 1875 in Nadiad district of then Bombay Presidency, now in Gujarat. He was the first Deputy Prime Minister of India in Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru cabinet. A barrister and a great freedom fighter, he rose in the ranks of the Indian National Congress leadership.
One of the founding fathers of the country, Sardar played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and subsequent integration of principalities and autonomous states into the Union of India.
(With inputs from PTI)