Flip-Flop Over ‘Metro Man’ Continues, Now K Surendran Clarifies
K Surendran said that he had merely expressed that people and party workers wanted E Sreedharan to “lead” them.
The flip-flop over ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan and whether he would be the BJP’s chief minister candidate in the upcoming Kerala Assembly elections continued on Friday, 5 March, with the party’s state unit chief K Surendran clarifying that he had not made any announcement about Sreedharan.
Instead, he said that he had merely expressed that people and party workers wanted E Sreedharan to "lead" them, reported PTI.
On Thursday, 4 March, at the Thiruvalla Vijaya Yatra function Surendran said, "NDA's development vision is such that E Sreedharan completed the work of Palarivattom bridge in five months. It would have taken 18 months for it to be constructed. Without corruption, the ‘Metro Man’ completed the work of the bridge. That is why we told the party and him (Sreedharan) that he should be the CM candidate of the BJP. It is this development model that had made us want ‘Metro Man’ as the CM candidate."
According to The Indian Express, on Friday, Surendran clarified his statement saying, “What I stated was the wish of the party as well as the people. But I cannot make a decision. There is no confusion on the issue.”
However, he also said that there would be a BJP government in Kerala, which would be “led by Sreedharan from the front”.
WHAT HAPPENED ON THURSDAY?
Soon after what appeared to be a formal announcement by Surendran, the declaration was seemingly confirmed by Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan.
Muraleedharan tweeted saying, "Kerala BJP will fight Kerala polls with E Sreedharan as its chief ministerial candidate. We will defeat both CPM and Congress to provide a corruption-free, development-oriented Governance for the people of Kerala.” However, he later deleted his tweet and amended his statement, saying that the final decision was still pending.
Speaking to The Quint, Muraleedharan said: “When I came across reports in Kerala regional media that the state president had announced Sreedharan as the CM candidate, I only referred to that and spoke about it. Later, I clarified and informed that too.”
“Yes, we can see Sreedharan contesting from an important constituency. So far in the party we have not even started talks on the CM candidate,” Muraleedharan told The Quint.
The developments happened on the same day Sreedharan was also inducted into the election committee of the BJP for the upcoming polls in the state.
WHO IS E SREEDHARAN?
Popularly known as the 'Metro Man', Elattuvalapil Sreedharan is credited for changing the face of public transport in India by his leadership in building Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro, when he served as its managing director between 1995 and 2012.
He resigned as the Principal Advisor to Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) in June 2019, citing health issues.
A Padma Vibhushan awardee, 88-year-old Sreedharan said that his main aim is to bring the BJP to power in Kerala, and once that happens he will focus mainly on infrastructure development and will bring industries to the state.
Sreedharan joined the BJP in Kerala on 26 February after he had publicly expressed his desire to join the party. The party state unit had called it, “A great day for Kerala, which looks forward to politics based on development agenda.”
(With inputs from The Indian Express and PTI)
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