New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 69th death anniversary, saying the country remains inspired by his exceptional services.

India's first home minister died in 1950 in Mumbai. Information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar also paid tribute to Sardar Patel.

"Tributes to the great Sardar Patel on his punya tithi (death anniversary). We remain eternally inspired by his exceptional service to our nation," Modi wrote on Twitter.


The ruling BJP believes that had Patel handled the Jammu and Kashmir issue after Independence, the situation there would have been better.

The Statue of Unity, a 182-meter tall statue of Patel, was unveiled by Prime Minister Modi in Gujarat last year.

Patel, who served as the first deputy Prime Minister of India, passed away on December 15, 1950 after a massive heart attack.

Known as the Ironman of India, Sardar Patel had a fundamental role in merging all the princely states in the country. 

He played a key role in the Indian freedom movement. He united 562 princely states to build the Republic of India. 

He was a lawyer by profession who grew up to become the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. In 2014, the government declared his birthday, October 31, as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day). On his 143rd birth anniversary, the government of India built a 182 metre-statue of the “iron man”.

After India got independence from the British, Sardar Patel was one of the first Congress leaders to accept the partition of India as a solution to the rising Muslim separatist movement led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He represented India on the Partition Council.