City pays tributes to Patel

PM Modi delivers a speech on Rashtriya Ekta Diwas Run For Unity last year

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and internationally acclaimed sand sculptor Sudarshan Patnaik paid rich tributes to "Iron Man" of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 142nd birth anniversary today.

"The then Prime Minister did not give free hand to Sardar Patel in its efforts to consolidate national unity but in spite of that Patel did the miracle to integrate hundreds of princely sates in India without any bloodshed", he said.

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The three-km run witnessed the participation of 15,000 to 20,000 people including school children, elders, sports- persons, artists and politicians.

Earlier, in the day, Patel's statue located at the Parliament street was visited by President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh who offered floral tributes. "We are happy that people are participating in the Run for Unity".

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"In 1950, Sardar Patel had predicted what would happen in 1965 (India-Pakistan war).the war that happened with China, even the Dokalam issue, which has come up in the recent times", he added. "His momentous service and monumental contribution to India can never be forgotten", Modi said while flagging off the run.

Kirron Kher in her address said, "National Unity Day is an occasion to introspect and emulate Sardar Patel's legacy of long enduring struggle for bipartisanship". "Unity in diversity is our speciality", Modi said. "We see the tricolor across the length and breadth of the nation, and the credit for this goes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel". The "Run for Unity" is a commendable initiative to showcase country's unity and integrity, said Hockey player Sardar Singh.

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"It is the responsibility of 125 crore Indians to preserve the unity and integrity of the nation given to us by Sardar Patel". The Congress quoted one of Patel's famous words.

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