Kerala Governor P Sathasivam upheld the secular values of the state and his steps to encourage social justice and gender equality are a model to the country, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said at his farewell meet on Tuesday.
Former civil aviation minister Arif Mohammed Khan was on Sunday appointed as the governor of Kerala, replacing Mr Sathasivam, the former chief justice of India whose five-year term came to an end. The state government organised a farewell meet to honour him on Tuesday.
The chief minister also praised the stand taken by Mr Sathasivam during the time when state faced the worst floods in the century.
"The steps taken by Sathasivam as Kerala Governor to encourage social justice, gender equality in the state are a model to the country," Vijayan said.
He said the government had a warm relation with the governor throughout his tenure that saw the state face many tragedies.
"Sathasivam, a person who upheld a secular personality, is stepping down as the governor of the state. His stand when the state faced the worst floods in a century and while the state was battling the contagious disease was commendable," Vijayan said.
The chief minister also expressed his gratitude to Mr Sathasivam for the "positive stands" taken by him during his tenure.
The governor, in his speech, said, "We could see the ray of hope in between the heavy rains and the floods which battered the state. Once the rebuilding is over and the new model Kerala becomes a reality, the state will become a model for the whole world."
He also said that a healthy relation must prevail between the governor and the state.
"When the Kerala Governor, the Chief Minister and the Opposition Leader went together to Tamil Nadu to pay respects to one of the leaders there, it caused an astonishment there," Mr Sathasivam said, remembering the time when the three of them went to pay respects to DMK chief M Karunanidhi a year ago.
"Kerala and Keralites will always remain in my heart," he added.
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