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PM Modi visiting Kerala today

Thiruvananthapuram: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday undertake his first visit to Kerala which is already in controversy after CM Oommen Chandy said he was being kept away from the ceremonies.

As per the schedule, PM Modi will arrive in Kerala's port city of Kochi by a special airforce flight this afternoon by 4.10 PM. Soon after his arrival, Modi will leave for Thrissur to attend the two functions close to the backward Ezhava community, apparently in an effort to woo them with assembly polls expected early in 2016.

The Prime Minister will unveil the statue of former Kerala CM late R Sankar, a well known leader of the Ezhava community, who had headed the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) and the Kerala PCC.

The programme has run into controversy with Chandy allegedly being asked to stay away by SNDP general secretary Vellapally Natesan.

Chandy himself in a press note had brought up the issue saying he would not be attending the function as Natesan had requested him not to attend and was "deeply saddened".

In Thrissur, the temple town, PM Modi will address a workers meet that, according to the state BJP leaders, will be attending by nearly two lakhs workers.

On December 15, the Prime Minister will receive a tri service guard of honour at INS Garuda and inaugurate the Combined Tri services commanders conference at INS Vikramaditya, the largest aircraft carrier of the country.

Modi will also be visiting the Sivagiri mutt and pay homage at the samadhi of social reformer Sree Narayana Guru and offer floral tributes and plant a sapling. He will then move to Vaidika Mutt, where Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore had met the Guru 90 years ago.

PM Modi will also be planting a tree sapling, Swami Sachidananda, general coordinator of the Prime Minister's visit said.

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