Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Governor Surjit Singh Barnala and leaders of various political parties have extended their greetings on the occasion of Deepavali.

Mr. Barnala said: “Let Deepavali, the festival of lights, ignite the spirit of amity, compassion, unity and love and bring in all-round prosperity in the State and the nation. On the happy occasion, I convey my heartiest greetings and best wishes to the people of Tamil Nadu.”

Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation G.K. Vasan said that under the guidance of Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the country had progressed in all spheres and was on a par with developed nations. He said the Tamil people hoped that the steps taken by the Central and State governments would help to protect the Sri Lankan Tamils and solve their problems. The Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, wished his Hindu brethren a happy Deepavali. “May the festival of lights brighten their homes, with all happiness and prosperity around the year.” “Let us all pledge ourselves, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, to live like one family of one God in this transit world and promote peace and universal brotherhood and earn good deeds for our next eternal life.”

Ignorance, poverty, terrorism, violence and bomb culture should be rooted out, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Su. Thirunavukkarasar said. He wanted peace to prevail for Sri Lankan Tamils and Tamil people all over the world.

Janata Dal (S) general secretary D. Rajagopal and Puthiya Tamilagam president K. Krishnasamy greeted the people.