Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a digital exhibition on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31 as part of a series of events to mark the birth anniversary of the first Deputy Prime Minister of independent India. Being observed as Rashtriya Ekta Divas (National Unity Day), it has been decided that Union ministers will visit various parts of the country on the day to participate in programmes marking the birth anniversary of Patel, also known as the 'Iron Man of India', on the lines of the recently-organised mega 'Tiranga Yatra' on the eve of Independence Day. Events lined up for the occasion include taking a unity pledge, unity runs, public rallies and various competitions such as elocutions, an official said. The decision was taken during a 45-minute meeting which was attended by several Union ministers, including M Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu, Ram Vilas Paswan, Anant Geete, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Narendra Singh Tomar and Dharmendra Pradhan. Based on suggestions from various quarters, it was also decided to display a common photo, related to Patel, also the first Home Minister of independent India, at public establishments and places of public gathering, including railway stations, airports and school buildings across the country. There were also suggestions to organise week-long programmes as part of observance of 'Ekta Week', but a call in that regard would be taken later, the official said. As a tribute to Patel, who was instrumental in keeping India united, the Modi government has decided to observe Patel Jayanti as 'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas' as an annual commemoration.
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