The Prime Minister, who was speaking during the flag off the 'Run for Unity' event here to mark birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also accused the Congress of making an attempt to erase the contribution of the first deputy prime minister of India.
"Patel's legacy was ignored by governments. The role of Sardar Patel was not introduced to the new generation of the country. Either an attempt was made to erase their contribution from history or an attempt was made to minimize it. Whether a political party accepts him grandfather or not, the country's youth will not allow him to be forgotten. The country's first President, Rajendra Prasad, also expressed his pain at an attempt to forget Sardar," the Prime Minister said before flagging addressing the massive gathering at Dhyan Chand Stadium.
Prime Minister Modi also administered the 'unity pledge' to those present.
"We remember Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary. We are proud of his contribution to India before we attained freedom and during the early years after we independence," he added.
"We are home to so many cultures, languages, lifestyles. India is a country full of diversity, Unity in Diversity is our speciality. People tried to ensure the contribution of Sardar Patel is forgotten. However, the youth of India respects him and his contribution towards the building of our nation. India is proud of our diversity," he said.
Along with the Prime Minister, Gymnast Dipa Karmakar, cricketer Suresh Raina, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, hockey player Sardara Singh and weightlifter Karnam Malleswari were also present during the event.
The birth anniversary of Sardar Patel is being celebrated across the country as 'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas' (National Unity Day).
Earlier, President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Modi, and Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu paid floral tributes to Sardar Patel. (ANI)