New Delhi: India is known for its diversity and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had ensured that the country remains united with its uniqueness, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday before flagging off the 'Run For Unity'.
The run was organised on the occasion of 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been working relentlessly with the country's first home minister's objective of making India strong and keeping it united.
"Sardar Patel is the symbol of India's unity. He had brought the country's 562 principalities under the fold of the union and had achieved this task within a very short span of 70 days through a bloodless revolution," Singh said.
Asserting that Patel could achieve this success due to his political acumen, indomitable zeal and farsightedness, the home minister said, "Otherwise we would have to go to these places with visa and passport."
Singh said it was Patel, also known as the 'Iron Man of India', who had ensured that the country remains united with its uniqueness of diversity in religion, language and culture.
He said the first home minister of the country had inculcated the spirit of nationalism across India and always believed in taking everyone along in the march towards progress.
"Patel had dreamt of an India which is always strong and united. Our prime minister is working in that direction by taking everyone along," Singh said.
In his speech, the home minister referred to the 182-metre-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat, known as the 'Statue of Unity', which will be dedicated to the nation by Modi on Wednesday.
Singh also administered the national unity pledge before flagging of the 'Run For Unity', which was participated by several thousand people.
Union ministers Harsh Vardhan, R K Singh, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Hardeep Puri, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba, boxer and Rajya Sabha member MC Mary Kom, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, hockey legend Zafar Iqbal and weightlifter Karnam Malleswari participated the event held at Major Dhyan Chand national stadium here.
(With PTI inputs)