Narendra Modi likely to meet church representatives in Kerala

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SummaryNarendra Modi is likely to meet representatives of some Churches and address a meeting organised by a leading Dalit outfit in Kochi

Reaching Kerala for his first major public engagement after being declared as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi is likely to meet representatives of some Churches and address a meeting organised by a leading Dalit outfit in Kochi before rounding off his day-long visit with a rally here tomorrow.

Despite its constituent failure to win even a single seat in the assembly or Lok Sabha from the state dominated by Fronts headed by Congress and CPI(M), BJP state unit has been projecting Modi's visit as a big occasion.

According to a party spokesperson, Modi's visit would not only help party to firm up its existing support base but also to reach out to communities and classes that have largely kept away from the saffron party so far.

Party sources said Modi will be meeting representatives of some of the church denominations in Kochi though an official word is yet to come from any of them on such an interaction.

Modi will 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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