"On his Punya Tithi (death anniversary), I pay my respects to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel," Modi tweeted.

"India will forever be indebted to Sardar Patel for his tireless efforts to unite the Nation," he added.

Known as the 'Iron Man' of India, Sardar Patel was instrumental in uniting the country through merger of small princely states.

He died of heart attack on December 15, 1950.

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