The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today paid homage to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, on his birth anniversary.
Addressing an enthusiastic gathering of youth and students at Rajpath in New Delhi, he said that the unity of India had been bonded by Sardar Patel. He said that it was the strength and wisdom of Sardar Patel's decision making that had thwarted all evil designs, and ensured the emergence of modern, independent India.
The Prime Minister said that Sardar Patel had given us "Ek Bharat," and it was now up to us to make it "Shresth Bharat." He said unity, peace and amity, were the axioms on which 125 crore Indians can move forward.
The Prime Minister recalled Sardar Patel's initiatives as Mayor of Ahmedabad during the 1920s, including a campaign for cleanliness, and a proposal for 50 percent reservation for women.
Shri Narendra Modi outlined a new scheme "Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat" which the Union Government is working on, in consultation with the States. He said under this scheme, two states would undertake a unique partnership for a period of one year. The year would be marked by cultural and student exchanges, which would give an opportunity to the people of these two states to understand and come closer to each other. He said different states could partner each other every year.
The Prime Minister also paid homage to former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, on her death anniversary.
The Prime Minister administered the pledge to the assembled gathering, and flagged off the "Run for Unity."
The Lt. Governor of Delhi Shri Najeeb Jung, the Chief Minister of Delhi Shri Arvind Kejriwal, and Union Ministers Shri Rajnath Singh and Shri Venkaiah Naidu were present on the occasion.