Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday visited Sree Narayana Mutt at nearby Sivagiri in Kerala for an event amid a controversy and protests by the Left activists.
Modi's five-hour visit to the state came against the backdrop of the Left attacking the authorities of the Mutt, which is dedicated to the ideals of 20th century saint-reformer Sree Naryana Guru who preached the message of unity of humanity, for inviting him to an important function.
The BJP leader was invited for the inauguration of the golden jubilee of the Sree Narayana Dharma Meemamsa Parishad.
Ignoring the multi-layer security at the airport here earlier, Modi walked to BJP workers who had converged in large numbers and greeted them by waving his hands.
Congress also decided to stay away from the function on the ground that the party is opposed to Modi's ideals and the development model he has been implementing in Gujarat.
CPI-M's youth DYFI organised a protest here against Modi's visit to the Sivagiri Mutt.
Addressing the protesters, CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan accused the sanyasins of the Mutt of trying to 'saffronise' the spiritual institution.
"You (sanyasins) have no authority to cast away the ideals of the Guru", he said.
Chief minister Oommen Chandy said the importance and relevance of the Sivagiri Mutt would not be affected due to Modi's visit.
"We are living in a time when the relevance of the Guru has become all the more important," he said.
Chandy, however, reiterated he was not enthused by the development model touted by Modi.
"On the contrary, it is the Kerala Model of development that has won national acclaim and considered as worthy of emulation for the entire country," he told reporters.
A meeting of Labour Minister and RSP(B) leader with Modi a few days back in Ahmedadbad also sparked a controversy with Congress leaders saying it should have been avoided.
Modi, however, did not make any mention of the controversy in Kerala though mediapersons had gathered in strength at the airport.