In Pics: PM Modi flags off Run for Unity to mark Patel's anniversary

New Delhi, Oct 31: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today flagged off a run to commemorate the 142nd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel here.

The Run for Unity, which began from the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, saw the participation of a large number of people, including sports personalities like Sardar Singh, Deepa Karmakar, Suresh Raina and Karnam Malleswari. The 1.5 km run here came to an end near the India Gate C-Hexagon-Shah Jahan Road radial.

PM appeared very elated when he said, "I am really happy that the young generation of the country is participating actively in this 'Run for Unity'." 

"Proud of his contribution to India before we attained freedom & during the early years after we became independent," said PM Modi on Sardar Patel, adding, "India is a country full of diversity, Unity in Diversity is our speciality."

"We will work towards building a new India, and this is what our pledge should be," said Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sardar Patel's birth anniversary.

Earlier, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Patels statue located at the Parliament street and offered floral tributes. "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 Patels contribution to India before it attained freedom and during the early years after the nation became independent. The central government observes October 31 all over the country as a day of special occasion to foster and reinforce the governments dedication to preserve and strengthen unity, integrity and security of the nation by celebrating it as a Rashtriya Ekta Diwas to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.

Several union ministers, senior officials and others also participated in the event. Hockey player Sardar Singh said Run for Unity is a commendable initiative to showcase countrys 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.

News24Bureau with Agencies