Modi’s first Kerala visit begins

Kochi, Dec 14 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday arrived here in Kerala on a two-day visit, his first to the state since assuming office in May 2014.

Modi arrived at the Naval airport in a special India Air Force aircraft and was received by Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Ernakulam Lok Sabha member K.V. Thomas, legislator Hibi Eden, Kochi mayor Soumini Jain and other officials.

Meanwhile, both houses of parliament were up in arms on Monday over the exclusion of Chandy from a function to be held on Tuesday that will be attended by Modi.

Modi is scheduled to attend a public meeting at Thrissur on Monday. The meeting, organised by the state BJP, is being termed a curtain raiser for next year’s assembly polls.

After his public meeting, he will return to Kochi. On Tuesday, he will address the naval combined commanders’ conference on INS Vikramaditya.

From there, Modi flies down to Kollam where he will attend three functions, including the one which has now created a row after Chandy was asked to keep away.

Modi is scheduled to unveil a statue of former chief minister and Congress president R. Shankar and also a new building at S.N. College.

The organisers, the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam of general secretary Vellapalli Natesan, had first invited Chandy, but later asked him to keep away.

This issue echoed in both houses of parliament on Monday.

Modi will also visit the abode of famed social reformer Sree Narayana Guru at Varkala, where he will plant a sapling and meet seers at Sree Narayana Mutt.

Before departing from the Thiruvananthapuram airport, he will meet the Chandy cabinet.

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