Thiruvananthapuram: BJP workers accorded a rousing reception to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as he arrived for a five-hour visit here Wednesday to attend a jubilee function at Sree Narayana Mutt at nearby Sivagiri.
Ignoring the multi-layer security security at the airport, Modi walked to the party workers who had converged in large numbers and greeted them by waving his hands.
His visit here was marked by controversies with the Left attacking the authorities of the Mutt, dedicated to the ideals of 20th century saint-reformer Sree Naryana Guru who preached the message of unity of humanity, inviting Modi to an important function.
Congress also decided to stay away from the function on the ground that the party is stiffly opposed to his ideals and the development model he has been implementing in Gujarat.
A meeting of Labour Minister and RSP(B) leader with Modi a few days back in Ahamadbad also sparked a controversy with Congress leaders saying it should have been avoided.
Modi, however, did not make any mention of the controversy though mediapersons had gathered in strength at the airport.
BJP state president V Muraleedharan, Tamil Nadu unit president Pon Radhakrishnan and national secretary M K Krishnadas were among the leaders who received him at the airport.
CPI-M`s youth DYFI organised a protest against Modi`s visit to the Sivagiri Mutt here.
Addressing the protesters, CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan accused the sanyasins of the Mutt of trying to `saffronise` the spiritual institution which stands for spreading the ideals of Sree Narayana Guru.
"You (sanyasins) have no authority to cast away the ideals of the Guru", he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the importance and relevance of the Sivagiri Mutt would not be affected due to Modi`s visit.
"We are living in a time when the relevance of the Guru has become all the more important," he said.
Chandy, however, reiterated that he was not enthused by the development model touted by Modi.
"On the contrary, it is the Kerala Model of development that has won national acclaim and considered as worthy of emulation for the entire country," he told reporters.