NEW DELHI, Dec 15: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his death anniversary.
"My humble tributes to the leader I admire most - the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - on his death anniversary," Naidu said in a series of tweets.
"His contribution to the Indian freedom struggle and his unparalleled effort in integrating more than 560 princely States with the Indian Union will forever inspire every Indian," Naidu added.
Modi also took to twitter and wrote, "I pay tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the iron man who laid the foundation of a strong and prosperous India on his death anniversary. Path shown by him will always inspire us to safeguard the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country."
Patel, a freedom fighter became India's first home minister and deputy prime minister. He is credited for unifying hundreds of princely states with the Union of India following independence through a mix of persuasion, dialogue and even use of force when required. - IANS