As India celebrates the 146th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the "country can move ahead only if we stay united".
On the occasion of National Unity Day, PM Modi said, "Strong foundation of democracy that developed in the society and traditions of India, prospered the sense of 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat'. But we must also remember that all the passengers sitting in a boat have to take care of the boat. We can go ahead only if we stay united."
PM Modi added, "Today the nation is paying tribute to Sardar Patel who gave his life for 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat'. Sardar Patel lives not only in history but also the hearts of all Indians."
"India isn't just a geographical unit. It's a nation that's full of the standards of ideals, resolutions, civilisation, culture. The land where we 135 crores Indians live, is an integral part of our soul, our dreams, our aspirations," he added.
Earlier, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 146th birth anniversary at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat's Kevadia.
Shah presided over the 'Rashtriya Ekta Divas' (National Unity Day) function at Kevadia where he also paid floral tribute to Sadar Patel's 182-metre-tall statue.
On the occasion of the 75th year of India's Independence, 75 cyclists from ITBP, SSB, CISF, CRPF and BSF, who have travelled approximately 9,000 km from various parts of the country to Kevadiya, will be taking part in the event as per an official statement. (ANI)