New Delhi: The Central government has planned a series of events to mark the first birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the 'Iron Man' of India, on Thursday after provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir were scrapped.
The 144th birth anniversary of Patel is also promoted as 'National Unity Day' through a "Run for Unity" event. Thousands, including political leaders and celebrities, will take part in marathons across India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Gujarat's Kevadiya where he will pay tributes to the "Iron Man" at the 'Statue of Unity'. He will also take part in an Ekta Divas parade.
Earlier on Sunday, in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', he had urged people to come out in huge numbers to take part in the "Run for Unity". Modi had said, "Since 2014, October 31 is being celebrated as "National Unity Day". This day gives the message to protect the unity, integrity and security of our country at any cost. Like every year, Run for Unity is being organised on October 31. People from all sections of society will participate in it".
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will flag off the 'Run for Unity' On October 31 to mark the occasion. Similar events will be organised in all districts of the state.
In Lucknow, the run will start from the statue of Patel located near GPO Hazratganj and culminate at K. D. Singh Babu Stadium.
The Adityanath government has also issued directives to all the district magistrates and police chiefs to celebrate the day as National integration day.
This will be the first birth anniversary of Patel after India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special powers to Kashmir. In rally after rally, the BJP has been blaming Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for this contentious Article, stating that had Kashmir been left for Patel to handle, Article 370 would not have come into existence.
Meanwhile, Home Minister and BJP national president Amit Shah will be in the national capital where he is slated to take part in a run and later will inaugurate a brand new Delhi Police Headquarters near Mandir Marg.
All the 303 Lok Sabha MPs of the BJP have also been asked to take part in the run for unity.