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Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: On the occasion of 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, 'Run For Unity' event was organised by Nehru Youth Centre in Bhubaneswar during which hundreds of participants covered a distance between Railway stadium to East Coast Railway Auditorium.

The event was flagged off by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and attended by people from different walks of life.

In the national capital, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and a host of dignitaries offered floral tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary.

At a special function held at the capital's Patel Chowk, the President and others paid floral tributes at the statue of India's first Home Minister on his 143rd birthday anniversary, which is observed as 'Rashtriya Ekta Divas'.

Those who were present on the occasion include Union urban development minister Hardeep Puri, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal besides others.

In Chennai,Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flagged off the 'Run for Unity' event. Besides Sitharaman, Tamil Nadu Ministers D Jayakumar and SP Velumani also participated in the event.

Later, the Defence Minister recalled the contributions of Patel in uniting India and pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to dedicate to the nation, the freedom fighter's statue in Gujarat.

Titled the 'Statue of Unity', the 182 metre tall Patel statue is touted to be the "tallest" in the world.

"We are attending the Run for Unity to mark that (dedication of Patel statue). Youngsters have turned up in good numbers today. They have to play an active role in the country remaining united," she said.

Sand animator Sudarsan Patnak also paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary with a sand art at Puri sea beach.

(With PTI inputs)

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