Union Home Minister Amit Shah today flagged off a run to commemorate the 144th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the national capital. The 'Run for Unity', which began from the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi, saw the participation of a large number of people, including athletes, sports enthusiasts and personnel of central police forces among others.
The 1.5-km run in Delhi takes place at the India Gate C-Hexagon-Shah Jahan Road radial. People wearing white T-shirts with Sardar Patel's photo on it assembled at the national stadium and India Gate roundabout for the run this morning.
The flag off also saw the presence of Union ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', Hardeep Singh Puri, RK Singh, Kiren Rijiju, G Kishan Reddy, Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal and home secretary Ajay K Bhalla on stage with Home Minister Amit Shah.
Mr Shah also administered a unity pledge to the participants of the run.
Earlier, the Home Minister visited Sardar Patel's statue located at the the national capital's Patel Chowk and offered floral tributes.
The central government observes October 31 across the country as a day of 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' or National Unity Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
The Modi government has been observing Sardar Patel's birth anniversary as 'Ekta Diwas' or National Unity Day since 2014. Sardar Patel was born on October 31, 1875 at Nadiad in Gujarat.
India's first Home Minister, Sardar Patel is credited for merger of over 560 princely states into the Union of India.
As part of celebrations, various programmes are being organised across the country, recalling Sardar Patel's contribution to unification of India.