Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited the Sivagiri Mutt and offered prayers at the Maha Samadhi.
He interacted with Sree Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust president Swamy Sachidananda, general secretary Swamy Rithambarananda and other sannyasins.
Later, Swamy Sachidananda described the visit as a pleasant surprise. He said the mutt had invited Mr. Gandhi in the past. But, the visit had not transpired then. The Swamy said the Sree Narayana community constituted 28% of Kerala’s population.
However, the demographic did not seem reflected in the makeup of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP). “The Congress has just one legislator from the community,” he said.
Swamy Sachidananda reminisced about former Prime Ministers Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to Sivagiri.
Mr. Gandhi said the Bharath Jodo Yatra was a social counter to the divisive politics practised by some sections in the name of religion. The yatra sought to unite people and strengthen the country’s secular fabric.
A galaxy of Congress leaders accompanied Mr. Gandhi to Sivagiri. They included KPCC president K. Sudhakaran, Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan and AICC organising secretary K.C. Venugopal.