- Some people tried to ensure Sardar Patel was forgotten: PM Narendra Modi
- The youth of India respect Sardar Patel, PM Modi said
- 'Run for Unity' flagged off from Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium
Without naming the Congress party, which ruled India for decades after independence, PM Modi said: "People earlier tried their best to ensure that the contribution of Sardar Patel was forgotten and diminished...But the people and the youth of India respect him and his contribution towards the building of our nation."
Stressing that the "country should remain one", the Prime Minister talked about Sardar Patel's role in integrating princely states into India after independence."The country that Patel has given, retaining its unity is the responsibility of all Indians. Using his skills and determination Sardar Patel saved India from the problems that emerged soon after Partition...He ensured India did not remain split into small princely states."
PM Modi referred to the nation's first President Rajendra Prasad and said, "His soul will be happy to know that Sardar Patel has not been forgotten."
The Prime Minister also remembered former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 33rd death anniversary.
The 'Run for Unity', which began from the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi, featured several sports personalities like Sardar Singh, Deepa Karmakar, Suresh Raina and Karnam Malleswari.
The 1.5 km run ended near the India Gate.
Earlier, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, PM Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Sardar Patel's statue at a prominent intersection in the heart of Delhi and offered tribute.
Each year, the central government marks Sardar Patel's birth anniversary October 31 as "Rashtriya Ekta Diwas".