In a message released on the eve of the state's 18th foundation day, Rawat made a special mention of Atal Bihari Vajpayee expressing his gratefulness to the late prime minister for understanding the sentiments of the people living in the hilly areas of Uttar Pradesh and giving them a separate state of their own.
"I salute all the known and unknown agitators without whose sacrifices the state of Uttarakhand would not have been possible.
The chief minister said the state has crossed many milestones of development in the last 18 years of its existence but it still has a long way to go to realise its full potential.
Calling for a collective endeavour, he asked everyone to contribute their valuable bit to build the state.
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