Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal led the state in paying tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary by taking part in a Run for Unity in Guwahati Wednesday. Sonowal and Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda joined a mammoth gathering for the run from Nehru Stadium to Judges Field on the occasion of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) which is observed every year on the day. The chief minister called upon the people to keep alive the ideals of Sardar Patel by reinforcing unity and harmony in the society.
"Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel remains an enduring icon of patriotism, nationalism and the spirit of public service...He shaped the narrative of a modern, strong and self-reliant India by facilitating the integration of princely states into the framework of federal India with his iron will and firmness", he said. Stating that the aim of the Centre is to transform the country as 'Vishwaguru' (leader of the world), Sonowal asked the people to draw inspiration from Sardar Patel's legacy and take the message of unity that he espoused to every part of the society. We follow and share the vision of Sardar Patel ... We are nurtured by the 5000 years old Indian civilization, which bestowed human values to the world .... we are committed to building a stronger and more vibrant Assam, he said adding that no divisive forces would be allowed to foment trouble in the society.
Nadda said that Sardar Patel united more than 500 princely states into the Indian nation and tackled all anti-nationals with a firm hand. The Statue of Unity was a fitting tribute to the 'Iron Man of India', he said. Sardar Patel had realised the importance of unity for India's progress and therefore founded the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, which are working as a great unifying force in the country today, he added.
(With inputs from agencies.)