New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday slammed "previous governments" for ignoring Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's legacy to unite the country.
"India is a country full of diversity. 'Unity in Diversity' is our speciality," Modi said while flagging off the 'Run for Unity' on the birth anniversary of the first deputy Prime Minister at the Dhyan Chand Stadium here.
Apparently targetting previous governments led by the Congress party, Modi said: "People earlier tried their best to ensure that the contribution of Sardar Patel was forgotten and diminished."
"But the people and the youth of India respects him and his contribution towards the building of our nation," the Prime Minister said.
Highlighting the contribution of Patel, Modi said: "Using his skills, and determination Sardar Patel saved India from the problems that emerged soon after Partition.
"He ensured India did not remain split into small princely states."
Modi also emphasised that "our country should remain one". "The country that Patel has given, retaining its unity is the responsibility of all Indians."
"Therefore, all generations should know how he maintained that unity. We are celebrating his birth anniversary as 'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas'," Modi said.
Referring to the nation's first President Rajendra Prasad, Modi said: "Today his soul will be happy to know that Sardar Patel has not been forgotten."
Modi also remembered former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her 33rd death anniversary.