After Modi, it’s Sonia Gandhi at Sivagiri

Varkala (Kerala) Dec 30 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday arrived here in Kerala as the chief guest of the 83rd annual Sivagiri pilgrimage celebrations.

Sivagiri is the abode of famed social reformer Sree Narayana Guru. Sonia’s visit comes close on the heels of the visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month.

She said that this was her third visit to take part in celebrations related to Sree Narayana Guru.

“Eleven years back, I came to take part in the 150th birth anniversary of the Guru and in 1988, along with my husband, I took part in another function,” she said.

“The Guru’s vision, outlook and his teachings are more relevant today than ever before. His greatness was that he imbibed the positives from all faiths and asked his followers to go forward with it,” the Congress president added.

Gandhi said that the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam was formed by the Guru in 1903 for cultural and educational purposes. And without naming anyone, she made a casual reference that “some” with political interests are there in it.

For the strong Hindu Ezhava community which constitutes the majority among the Hindus in the state, Sivagiri is the most revered place.

Hindu Ezhava leader Vellapalli Natesan, general secretary of the SNDP Yogam, has recently formed his own party and is also set to move into the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.

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