Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and several other leaders Sunday led the nation in paying tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary.
Also celebrated as the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day), Modi said, that the country was paying tributes to Sardar Patel who gave his life for ‘Ek Bharat, shreshth Bharat’ and whose “lives not only in history but also the hearts of all Indians.”
The prime minister said that Patel always gave importance to nation’s interest and said “Our goals can only be met if we stay united.” Modi also said that due to Patel’s inspiration, “India is becoming capable of dealing with all kinds of challenges, external & internal. In the last 7 years, the country got rid of decades-old unwanted laws.”
In a tweet in Hindi, President Ram Nath Kovind paid his tribute to Patel and said, “My humble tributes on the birth anniversary of Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. A symbol of the unity of the country, Sardar Patel occupies a high place among our foremost nation builders. The countrymen will always be indebted to Sardar Patel for establishing a work culture based on morality and service to the nation.”
The president also paid floral tributes to Patel in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
लौह पुरुष सरदार वल्लभभाई पटेल की जयंती पर राष्ट्रपति राम नाथ कोविन्द ने पटेल चौक, नई दिल्ली स्थित सरदार पटेल की प्रतिमा पर उन्हें श्रद्धा-सुमन अर्पित किए।
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn)
Tweeting in Hindi, Home Minister Amit Shah wrote: “Sardar Patel’s dedication, loyalty, struggle and sacrifice for the motherland inspires every Indian to dedicate himself for the unity and integrity of the country.”
Gujarat: A ceremony to mark the birth anniversary ofand National Unity Day is underway at the in Kevadia. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other dignitaries are participating in the ceremony.
— ANI (@ANI)
Paying his respects at the ‘Statue of Unity’ in Kevadiya, Shah said, “Kevadia is not just the name of a place, it has become a shrine – a shrine of national unity, of patriotism. This sky-high statue of #SardarPatel is giving a message to the world that India’s future is bright, that nobody can damage the unity & integrity of India.” The home minister also pledged an oath of national unity during the function.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also tweeted and wrote: “Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a hero who united the country in the thread of unity, will always be remembered for his role in liberating India and his decisive leadership. He has also contributed a lot for the construction of New India. I bow to him on the occasion of his birth anniversary.”
Meanwhile, other Union ministers including Nitin Gadkari, Hardeep Singh Puri,among others also paid tributes to Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
The Modi-led government has been observing Patel’s birth anniversary as ‘Ekta Diwas’ or National Unity Day since 2014. Born on October 31, 1875, at Nadiad in Gujarat, Patel was India’s first Home Minister who is credited for the merger of over 560 states into the Union of India.