Rashtriya Ekta Diwas: Leaders across political spectrum remember Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Indira Gandhi

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off a 1.5-kilometre run to commemorate the 142nd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founders of the Republic of India. On the occasion, Modi said that it was due to the statesmanship and political acumen of the country's first home minister that India is united today despite the colonial rulers' wish that it was disintegrated into smaller states after Independence.

"There have been attempts to run down Patel, to ensure that the contribution of Patel is forgotten. But Sardar is Sardar, whether any government or any party recognises his contribution or not, the nation and the youth will not forget him," he said without naming any government or party.

The central government celebrates 31 October, the birth anniversary of Vallabhbhai Patel, as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas. Several Run for Unity events were organised across India to mark the occasion.

After Modi, many other political leaders paid respects to Patel.

BJP president Amit Shah flagged off a Run for Unity in Shimla while Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal did the same in Guwahati:

Senior Cabinet ministers Smriti Irani and Rajnath Singh too paid respects to Patel:

Even though Modi mentioned that 31 October is also the death anniversary of former India prime minister Indira Gandhi, it was underplayed. Expectedly, while BJP politicians paid tribute to Patel, non-BJP politicians remembered Gandhi:

Finally, Mamata Banerjee remembered another great Indian as well:

Updated Date: Oct 31, 2017 11:46 AM

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