The Centre has asked all states to observe Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary on October 31. It has also decided to rope in sportspersons such as ace cricketer Mithali Raj, badminton star P V Sindhu and former men’s hockey team captain Sardar Singh for a ‘Run for Unity’ event in the national capital to mark the occasion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the nation in paying tributes to Patel by offering floral tributes at his statue, followed by administering a pledge and flagging off the ‘Run for Unity’, Additional Secretary in Home Ministry Praveen Kumar Srivastava said on Monday.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has written to all chief ministers and Union ministers to organise the pledge, the run and the march on the occasion, he said.
The 1.5-km run in Delhi will start from the National Stadium, and several celebrities and sportspersons are expected to take part in it.
State governments have been asked to encourage college and school students to participate in events to mark the occasion. Srivastava said around 15,000 people had participated in the event in Delhi last year and the number will go up this year.
October 31 is also the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.