People Tried to Erase Sardar Patel: Modi on His Birth Anniversary

Badminton player PV Sindhu, Captain of the Indian women cricket team Mithali Raj also participated in the marathon.

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President Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, PM Modi and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Hardeep Suri.

On the142nd birth anniversary of the country’s first Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabh ai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off 'Run for Unity' — a nationwide marathon at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Delhi on 31 October.

Patel was born on October 31, 1875 in Nadiad, a small village in Gujarat. Popularly known as the 'Iron Man' of India, he was conferred with the highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, in 1991 for his services to the nation.

A march past was conducted by Central Armed Police Forces and Delhi Police to mark the occasion.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Home Minister Rajnath Singh who were also present at the event paid floral tributes to Patel’s statue.

Addressing the crowd that had gathered at the stadium early in the morning, Modi said:

Today is Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary, also the death anniversary of Former PM Indira Gandhi. I am really happy that the young generation of the country is participating actively in this ‘Run for Unity’. We are proud of his contribution to India before we attained freedom and during the early years after we became independent. People tried to ensure the contribution of Sardar Patel is forgotten but the youth of India respects him and his contribution towards the building of our nation.

Responding to PM Modi’s dig, former Chief Minister of Delhi and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit said, “It’s nothing like that. We have never ignored Sardar Patel’s contribution.”

Dipa Karmakar, Sardara Singh, Suresh Raina, and Karnam Malleswari were among the sportspersons to be present with PM Narendra Modi at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

Badminton player PV Sindhu, Captain of the Indian women cricket team Mithali Raj and hockey player Sardar Singh reportedly participated in the marathon.

The central government observes 31 October all over the country as a special occasion to foster and reinforce the government's 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.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS.)

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