Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State unit president V. Muraleedharan has said that the controversy over Labour Minister Shibu Baby John’s visit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is one created with ‘ulterior political motive.’

At a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Muraleedharan said the controversy was part of constant attempts being made by various political parties, especially the Congress, to portray Mr. Modi in a bad light and also mislead certain sections of the public through such efforts.

‘‘However, the latest development was testimony of the fact that Mr. Modi’s style of governance has found acceptance even among leaders belonging to other political parties. Moreover, the criticisms levelled against Mr. John pointed towards the reality that Mr. Modi is feared by his political rivals,’’ he said.

He said the State leadership of the BJP was aware that Mr. John would hold a discussion with the Gujarat Chief Minister. Mr. Muraleedharan said, ‘‘as far as I am aware, the talks (between Mr. Modi and Mr. John) centered around developmental issues concerning Kerala. Political matters were not discussed,’’ he said.

He criticised Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan for stating that he would abstain from attending a function at Sivagiri Mutt if Mr. Modi was present.

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