"Kerala has nothing to learn from Gujarat"

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Wednesday that he was not up to commending on rights and wrongs of invitation extended to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by Sivagiri Mutt, Varkala.

Replying to questions from the media at his weekly Cabinet briefing, the Chief Minister said that the relevance of Sivagiri and teachings of social reformer Narayana Guru would not be diminished by the visit of Mr. Modi.

In fact, the relevance of the philosophy expounded by the savant was increasing and none could communalise it. “The biggest relief of Kerala (during present times) is the philosophy Narayana Guru.”

Mr. Chandy said that there was nothing wrong in the Labour Minister Shibhu Baby John having visited Mr. Modi in Gujarat. The confusion was created by the campaign that the Minister was there to emulate the Gujarat model of development.

“Kerala has nothing to learn from Gujarat. Kerala model of development is world famous.” He had wanted the campaign that the Gujarat model is better than Kerala model to be avoided. This was the basis of his earlier criticism.

Mr. John had visited Gujarat for discussions on establishing a branch of National Institute of Design in Kerala. It was a Central Institute and the proposal had nothing to do with Modi government. Mr. John needed to have taken permission from him only for going outside India.

Asked about the Cochin Port Trust leasing out land in Kochi to private developers much below the market rates, the Chief Minister said that the State government had done nothing irregular in the matter. The State government was bound to recognise the rights of the Port Trust in the matter.

He said that he was not aware of the State Health Insurance Scheme being deprived of accident cover when a Reliance company became the insurer. Accident insurance was integral to the scheme.

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