Amit Shah flags off 'Run for Unity' to commemorate Sardar Patel's 144th birth anniversary
New Delhi, Oct 31: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday flagged off a run to commemorate the 144th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the national capital.
Amit Shah said Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution were the gateway of terrorism into Jammu and Kashmir and Prime Minister Narendra Modi closed the gate by abrogating them.
"Article 370 and 35A were the gateway of terrorism in India. Prime Minister Modi has closed this gate by repealing them," he said.
The 'Run for Unity', which began from the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, saw the participation of a large number of people, including sports personalities, sports enthusiasts and personnel of central police forces among others.
The 1.5-km run in Delhi takes place at the India Gate C-Hexagon-Shah Jahan Road radial. People wearing white T-shirts and bearing Patel's photo assembled at the national stadium and India Gate roundabout for the run.
The flag off also saw the presence of Union ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', Hardeep Singh Puri, R K Singh, Kiren Rijiju, G Kishan Reddy, Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal and home secretary Ajay K Bhalla on the dais with the home minister. Shah also administered a unity pledge to the participants of the run. Earlier, the home minister visited Patel's statue located at the national capital's Patel Chowk and offered floral tributes.
The central government observes October 31 across the country as a day of the special occasion to foster and reinforce the government's dedication to preserve and strengthen unity, integrity and security of the nation by celebrating it as a 'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas' or National Unity Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
Modi government has been observing Patel's birth anniversary as 'Ekta Diwas' or National Unity Day since 2014. Patel was born on October 31, 1875, at Nadiad in Gujarat. India's first Home Minister, Patel is credited for the merger of over 560 states into the Union of India.
As part of celebrations, various programmes are being organised across the country, recalling Sardar Patel's contribution to the unification of India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attending a special function being organised in Kevadia in Gujarat, where a giant statue of Patel is located.