Kevadia (Gujarat): India observed National Unity Day on October 31 to honour veteran freedom fighter Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the country’s first home minister, whose role in persuading numerous princely states to join the Union of India after Independence is particularly noteworthy.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel will continue to inspire generations to come, and the ‘Statue of Unity’, dedicated to Patel, is a message to the world that India’s future is bright and nobody can break the country’s unity and integrity.

Addressing a gathering at the world’s tallest ‘Statue of Unity’ at Kevadia in Gujarat’s Narmada district on the occasion of Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary, Shah also targeted the Opposition, saying efforts were made to forget the ‘Iron Man of India’.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel gave a message to the world that nobody can destroy the unity and integrity of India, Union Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday, on the occasion of Patel’s birth anniversary.

Kevadia, where a 182 metre-tall statue of Sardar Patel is located, is not just any place today, it has become a shrine of national unity and patriotism, Shah said here in Gujarat.

Patel’s birth anniversary is celebrated as the National Unity Day.

“Sardar Patel gave a message to the world that nobody can destroy the unity and integrity of India,” he said.

In a video message on the National Unity Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it is due to Sardar Patel’s inspiration that India is today becoming self-reliant in defending itself.

Sardar Patel was the proponent of a country where everybody should get the same opportunity and where everybody has the freedom to pursue his/her dreams, he said.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu urged people to work towards eliminating hunger, inequality, poverty and corruption by taking inspiration from Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.

As the country celebrates Patel’s birth anniversary on Sunday as National Unity Day to honour his legacy, “Let us take inspiration from this iconic personality and work towards strengthening the unity, integrity and security of the nation,” the Vice President Secretariat tweeted, quoting Naidu.

The vice president also called for eliminating hunger, inequality, poverty and corruption.

The vice president paid floral tributes to Sardar Patel, the country’s first deputy prime minister and home minister, during his visit to Ram Mohan Library in Vijayawada on Sunday, his office said.

Several other also paid their tributes towards the ‘Iron Man’ of India on the occasion of National Unity Day, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Also read | Actor Puneeth Rajkumar laid to rest with full state honours

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