New Delhi: Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday paid tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 148th birth anniversary and recalled his contribution for uniting the entire country.
Kharge in a post on X, said, “‘Our duty is that we should decide that we have to live like brothers in India… Be it any community… Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Parsi, Christian, everyone should understand that this is our This is the country,’ Sardar Patel.”
“Tributes to the Iron Man of India, the country’s first Deputy Prime Minister, former Congress President and our source of inspiration, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ji, who united the entire country in the thread of unity and integrity, on his birth anniversary.”
Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh also paid tributes to Sardar Patel and said, “Today a grateful nation celebrates the 148th birth anniversary of the one and only Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.”
He said that on February 13, 1949 while unveiling a bronze bust of his Jawaharlal Nehru had said: “Sardar Patel, after all, is not of Gujarat alone; he belongs to the whole of India. He has drawn the map of free India. He has had a great hand in securing the independence of India and later contributed greatly to preserving it…”
“It must be noted here that Nehru went against his own beliefs and made an exception in Patel’s case by inaugurating the bronze bust of Patel during his lifetime. The previous day Nehru had described his visit to Vallabh Vidyanagar that was being built near the Sardar’s birthplace as ‘a pilgrimage’. His remarks at both places reveal the special relationship he and the Sardar enjoyed for three decades,” he said.
“The Sardar’s role in the integration of princely states is well-known. Equally crucial was his chairmanship of the Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas which shaped the country’s Constitution so very decisively,” he added.
He was born in Gujarat in 1875. He was a leading Congress leader and associate of Mahatma Gandhi during the independence struggle.
As the first home minister of the independent India, he is credited with uniting hundreds of princely states into the Union. His birth anniversary is celebrated as National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.