Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala and political leaders greeted Malayalees on the eve of Onam festival on Sunday.
In a release here, Mr. Barnala conveyed his heartiest greetings and good wishes to Malayalees living in the State and elsewhere.
“Let this harvest festival of colours bring in unity, peace and prosperity and pave the way for the development of the nation,” he said.
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said his government respected the sentiments of all sections of society and therefore had in 2006 announced special holiday for the districts of Nagercoil, Nilgiris and Coimbatore, which have sizeable Malayalee population.
“This was extended to Chennai in 2007. It is a proof of our commitment to respect the just sentiments people of other States residing in Tamil Nadu,” he said.
The festival symbolised the need to do away with arrogance and imbibe the qualities of love, peace and brotherhood, he said while extending his Onam greetings.
AIADMK Chief J. Jayalalithaa said Onam festival was celebrated by people across different sections of society, transcending differences of caste or creed.
“I wish the day brings prosperity, love and happiness in the lives of people celebrating the festival,” she said in a statement here.