New Delhi: On the occasion of the 144th birth anniversary of India’s first Union Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a pledge of unity was administered by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to senior armed forces and defence ministry officials here on Thursday.
Singh administered the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas Pledge’ to the officials at the Ministry of Defence pledging to preserve the ‘Unity, Integrity and Security of the Nation’. Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat and Secretary (Defence) Ajay Kumar were among those who took the pledge along with Singh.
“As first Home Minister of Independent India, Sardar Patel played a key role in integrating more than 560 princely states in the Union of India. The Government had decided in 2014 to observe the day as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ or ‘National Unity Day’,” said a statement from the Defence Ministry.
Singh paid tributes to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi too on her death anniversary which also falls on October 31.
“I bow to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his Jayanti. His tremendous contribution to India’s unity, integrity and history will always be remembered by this grateful nation. Let us rededicate ourselves to strengthen India’s unity on the occasion of Rashtriya Ekta Diwasas,” Singh tweeted.