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Church representatives not to meet Narendra Modi

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Church representatives not to meet Narendra Modi
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Kochi: The representatives of some of the Churches have rebuffed reports that they would meet BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who is on a one-day trip to the state.

Rejecting the BJP claim that the Church heads would meet the Gujarat Chief Minister, the representatives on Sunday said no such meeting had been scheduled.

There were earlier reports that Narendra Modi, who is reaching Kerala for his first major public engagement after being declared as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, would meet representatives of some Church denominations in Kochi at Ernakulum guest-house before rounding off his day-long visit with a rally here on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the BJP leadership said that it was the Church leaders who wanted to meet Modi.

Modi will, however, be addressing a public meeting organised by 'Kerala Pulaya Maha Sabha' (KPMS), a socio-cultural outfit of one of Kerala's leading Scheduled Caste communities.

The meeting is being organised to mark the centenary of 'Kayal samaram', a protest by the community against denial or right to organise themselves. According to community chroniclers, a group of Pulaya community members made a flotilla of boats and held a meeting in the backwaters off Kochi about a century back.

The BJP is projecting the invitation extended to Modi by the outfit as a sign of his increasing acceptability among the backward classes.

Last year, Modi had spoken at the Sivagiri Mutt at Varkala, run by followers of Sree Narayana Guru, the 20th century spiritual leader and social reformer who hailed from the Ezhava community and also the Amrita Mutt of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi at Vallikkavu.

The Left leaders had criticised the sanyasins for inviting Modi to Sivagiri Mutt, which stands for propagation of Guru's central message of 'one cast, one religion and one God for men'.

BJP had rejected the criticism as a reflection of the approach of 'political untouchability' on the part of the Left leaders in the country.

Modi will be rounding off his visit with a 'mega rally' at the Sankhumugham beach in the state capital in the evening.

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