Lucknow, Oct 31 : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday flagged off the "Run for Unity" in Lucknow on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 144th birth anniversary and said the people of the country should be grateful to him for preserving the unity and integrity of the nation.
The Chief Minister offered floral tributes to the statue of India's "Iron man" at the GPO Park before flagging off the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Adityanath said that the "Statue of Unity" of Sardar Patel in Gujarat was built with iron collected from various sections of society including farmers.
He said that Patel had thwarted the designs of the British government to divide India into pieces and the country would always be grateful to him for this.
It was the duty of every countryman to preserve the freedom, unity and integrity if the country, he further said, adding that we should beware of forces that pursue divisive policies in the name of region and caste.
Yogi Adityanath asked the people to adopt the principles of Sardar Patel into their lives.
Lucknow Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia, deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, UP ministers Ahutosh Tandon, Upendra Tiwari , Brijesh Pathak, BJP MLA Pankaj Singh and several other leaders were present on the occasion.
Meanwhile, hundreds of school children and youth participated in the "Run for Unity" that began at the GPO Park and culminated at the Shaheed Smarak.
Similar programmes were organized in all districts where ministers and legislators took part.