E Sreedharan, also known as ‘metro man’, who is set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) next week, said on Friday, 19 February, that his objective is to help the party come to power in Kerala, and that he will be open to chief ministership.
He also said that if the BJP does win the Assembly polls this year, his main aim will be to get the state out of the current debt and develop the infrastructure in a huge way.
"If BJP wants, I will contest (the Assembly elections)," Sreedharan told PTI.
On being asked whether he will be open to chief ministership, Sreedharan said:
“If they (BJP) want, certainly. To tell you very frankly, unless I am the chief minister these (priorities) cannot be achieved.”
Sreedharan told PTI that he will contest the Assembly elections if the party wants.
He also asserted that he will not be interested in holding the position of governor since it doesn’t have any powers being a "constitutional position.” He further added that in a position like that, he won't be able to make any substantial contribution to the state.
The 88-year-old technocrat also said that his main aim is to bring BJP to power in Kerala and once that happens he will focus mainly on infrastructure development and will bring industry to the state.
‘Religious Bias an Unnecessary and Unfair Taunt on BJP’: Sreedharan
Speaking to NDTV, Sreedharan said he doesn’t believe the BJP is a communal party and the taunt of religious bias against them is “unnecessary and unfair".
“BJP is being painted like a communal party today in the country. And it is, according to me, not because I have got such a long association with people in BJP – it is not a communal party at all. It is a party consisting of nation lovers and who accept that all parties, all communities are alike as far as they’re concerned. That is the attitude of the Modi government. I can see the way he speaks, I have never seen him at any time attacking any religion. This religious bias in an unnecessarily taunt on BJP and very unjust, according to me.”Sreedharan told NDTV
When questioned about his views on the BJP’s stand on “beef” and “love jihad”, Sreedharan told NDTV, “Personally, I am a very very strict vegetarian. I don't even eat eggs so, certainly I don't like anybody eating meat. That is certain and 'love jihad’, yes, I see what is happened in Kerala. How Hindus are being tricked in a marriage and how they suffer...not only Hindus, Muslim, the Christian girls are being tricked into a marriage. Now that sort of a thing I certainly will oppose."
What Else Did Sreedharan Say?
Sreedharan is likely to formally join the BJP on 25 February.
Sreedharan, who is based in Ponnani in Kerala, over a telephonic conversation, told PTI that a finance commission which is currently in a debt trap could also be formed with an objective of improving the state finances.
He further said that currently debt burden on each Malayalee is Rs 1.2 lakh and we are heading for bankruptcy. “The state finances need to be propped up and for that, we need to find a solution," he was quoted by PTI as saying.
He also, according to PTI, has said that since both the UDF and LDF have issues with the central government, the development of the state is suffering.
If the BJP comes to power here, they will have a good rapport with the Government of India, stated Sreedharan.
He also said that his professional responsibilities are coming to a draw by the end of this month.
“I thought I will give time for the benefit of Kerala state. That is possibly only if we enter politics. Do something for the state," he said.
After he oversaw the launch of the metro rail project, Sreedharan was labeled as the 'Metro man' of India. He retired as chief of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on 31 December 2011, and is now leading a semi-retired life in his ancestral home in Ponnani of Malappuram district.
‘Sreedharan’s Entry Will Give Boost to Party in Kerala’: What BJP’s Muraleedharan Said
Minister of state for external affair and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader V Muraleedharan told ANI on Friday that Sreedharan’s entry is going to prove beneficial to the party and will give BJP a good boost in Kerala.
"Sreedharan's joining the BJP in Kerala is making a huge impact. It denotes the BJP's slogan of efficient, transparent and non-corrupt people in political activities," Muraleedharan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The BJP leader's praise for Sreedharan’s political debut comes a day after the technocrat confirmed the news of joining BJP.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI and NDTV.)