Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Governor Surjit Singh Barnala, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa and leaders of various political parties have conveyed their Independence Day greetings.

Mr. Barnala said the youth should draw inspiration from the great leaders of our freedom movement and dedicate themselves in the noble task of nation building. “Let us pledge to uphold the integrity and sovereignty of our nation and unite to steer India to greater heights,” he added.

Mr. Karunanidhi said while paying our tributes to the freedom fighters, who dared the British government’s bullets and gallows, “we should ensure that the people of the country continue to enjoy the benefits of the Independence.”

Noting that unveiling of the statues of Thiruvalluvar and Sarvajna in Bangalore and Chennai respectively had paved way for improving inter-State relations, he said there should not be any room for sectarian feelings.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said people should take a pledge “to revive the democracy buried in the country and establish a government driven by the objective of the welfare of people.”

She said even 60 years after Independence, poverty was haunting the people of the country.

TNCC president K.V. Thangkabalu called upon the people to strengthen the Congress government, which had achieved enviable growth in all fields. PMK leader S. Ramadoss said the people of Tamil Nadu should raise their voice to prevail upon the Indian government to recognise the aspirations of the Sri Lankan Tamils.

Prince of Arcot Mohammed Abdul Ali noted that 30 crore people were living below poverty line. “Unless justice is done to them by way of elevating their social status, the democratic machinery of our great secular country, India, would have failed in its duty.”