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LDF govt under pressure to keep Modi off Kerala

LDF govt under pressure to keep Modi off Kerala

Author: A M Jigeesh
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: January 19, 2007
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/story/21249.html

An invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by the Kerala state unit of the RSS to participate in the Vishala Hindu Mahasammelan in Thiruvananthapuram on January 29 is threatening to snowball into a controversy with some Muslim organisations and a section in the Left pressurising the LDF government to deny Modi entry into Kerala.

Modi is understood to have given his consent to participate in the programme, although the Kerala government has not got any formal intimation from the Gujarat government on his visit yet.

Officials from the Gujarat CM's office on Thursday asserted that he would be visiting Kerala this monthend. A senior RSS functionary in Thiruvananthapuram also asserted that Modi was participating. "The function is part of the ongoing Guru Jayanti celebrations. Modi has agreed to attend," he said.

The LDF regime led by Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan is in a wait-and-watch mode, even as posters have started appearing in the state decrying Modi's impending visit and asking the government to block his entry in Kerala "for what he did during Gujarat genocide".

Kerala government managers on Thursday said they would take a view once a formal intimation came from Gujarat. "The Cabinet and the CPI(M) is yet to discuss the matter," Kerala Education Minister and CPI(M) central committee member M A Baby said. Asked whether the government would heed to the demands not to allow Modi into Kerala, Baby said: "If Modi is coming to fan up communal passions, we are not going to allow it. But he is a CM and he is supposed to let us know his plans in the state through proper channels. We are yet to get any information from the Gujarat government."

A somewhat similar incident had taken place in the state earlier during the UDF government when strong protests against an impending visit by VHP leader Praveen Togadia forced him to change his plans. RSS functionaries, however, pointed out that an elected CM could not be stopped from visiting another state.

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