Kerala mutt invites Modi, Left sees red
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After Kerala Labour Minister Shibu Baby John's meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi stirred a row, the Left has trained its guns on Sree Narayana Mutt at Varkala for inviting the BJP leader as chief guest at a function on April 24.
While Marxist veteran V S Achuthanandan has already made it clear he will boycott the function, CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan attacked the mutt on Sunday for rolling out the red carpet to Modi.
Vijayan said the sanyasins should not have invited Modi to the spiritual centre founded by saint-reformer Sree Naryana Guru, who preached the message of "one caste, one religion and one God for humanity".
"Sivagiri is a symbol of secular spirituality. Inviting Modi there could be seen only as an attempt to turn it into a Hindu Mutt," Vijayan said at a meeting at Pathanamthitta.
The mutt authorities, however, rejected the criticism saying the ashram doors were open to all and the current controversy was unwarranted.
"Sivagiri Mutt has no politics and its tradition is to welcome all," said Swami Rithambharananda, who is president of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust. The Mutt had also extended invitation to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi but they did not respond, he said.
Located about 30 kms from the state capital, Sivagiri Mutt is a hallowed pilgrim centre for Sree Narayana devotees.
The mutt is celebrating the post-centenary of installation of "Vidyadevatha" idol at its premises on April 24. Labour minister and RSP(B) leader Shibu Baby John recently came under attack over his meeting with Modi following which he had express his "regret" for meeting the Gujarat CM.