Hyderabad, October 31, 2014 (Agencies) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday recalled a bit of history when he spoke of how 562 sovereign States across the length and breadth of the country were brought together, under the flag of the Indian Republic, in a span of 70 days between June 4 and August 15, 1947. An endeavour of this magnitude could have been possible only by someone like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the country’s first Home Minister. Union Government’s decision to observe his birth anniversary on October 31, as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ would provide an opportunity to reaffirm the inherent strength and resilience of the nation, against threats to its unity, integrity and security, Mr. Singh said.

He garlanded a statue of Sardar Patel near Assembly building on Friday morning, in the presence of

several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and MLAs, before flagging off ‘Run for Unity’, in which several hundreds of students and others participated. Addressing the gathering, Mr. Singh said that had someone like Sardar Patel not been there, “we probably would not have been ‘Bharat-waasi’, as in citizens of India,” to applause. He also administered a pledge for the gathering and surprised people by reading it out in Telugu. He said that it was in the best interests of the country to continue remaining together and strengthen the bond of unity in the endeavour to take India to its rightful place in the benefit of nations. A host of senior BJP leaders, including Member of Parliament Bandaru Dattatreya, party’s Telangana State unit president G. Kishan Reddy, N.V.S.S. Prabhakar, Chintala Ramachandra Reddy and Raja Singh were present.
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