Union Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah graced the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ celebrations as Chief Guest and flagged off the ‘Run For Unity’ at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, in New Delhi today. Earlier Shri Shah paid floral tributes at the statue of Sardar Vallbh Bhai Patel at Patel Chowk, in New Delhi.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion Shri Shah said that Sardar Patel is the reason for a united India. He added that the nation would forever be grateful to Sardar. Expounding on the history of India's unification, Shri Shah said that at the time of Independence, India was divided into more than principalities by the British and the existence of a unified India was a challenge. It was only tireless perseverance by Sardar Patel, in spite of challenges, which led to the unification of India, Shri Shah said.
Shri Shah asserted that Run for Unity is a way for the people of India to reaffirm our commitment to a United, strong India and a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel. He noted that the merger of Jammu and Kashmir with India was the unresolved question of Indian unification because of Articles 370 and 35A. He added that it was under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi that the task of merging Jammu and Kashmir with India was completed by the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. He called this merger the unfinished dream of Sardar Patel and added that Article 370 was the gateway of terrorism in India.
Shri Shah also remembered former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary. He remarked that Sardar Patel was not given his due for many years after independence. He said that the Statue of Unity, at 182 m, is one of the tallest statues in the world and a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel and a recognition of his contributions to India.
Shri Shah said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India has become one of the fastest growing and largest economies of the world and is well poised to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024. Shri Shah called upon everyone to commit themselves to building a strong, united New India.
Shri Shah, after his address, administered the Pledge of Unity to all the participants and officials present at the venue.
Also present on the occasion were the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Shri Anil Baijal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Minister of State for Power, New & Renewable Energy (I/C) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs, Civil Aviation (Independent Charge) and Commerce & Industry, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports (I/C) Shri Kiren Rijiju and Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G. Kishan Reddy.