Union Min Says ‘Metro Man’ BJP Kerala’s CM Face, Then Backtracks
E Sreedharan had recently joined the party and expressed his desire to be the chief minister.
Hours after MoS MEA and BJP leader V Muraleedharan on Thursday, 4 March said that 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan would be the Bharatiya Janata Party's chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming Kerala Assembly elections, he has backtracked and amended his statement, saying that the final decision was still pending. He also deleted a tweet in which he had confirmed the same.
Speaking to The Quint, Muraleedharan said: “When I came across reports in Kerala regional media that the state president had annouced Sreedharan as the CM candidate, I only referred to that and spoke about it. Later, I clarified and informed that too.”
“Yes, we could see Sreedharan contesting from an important constituency. So far in the party we have not even started talks on the CM candidate,” Mureleedharan told The Quint.
WHAT WAS MURALEEDHARAN’S EARLIER STATEMENT?
Earlier in the day, Muraleedharan had 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, this tweet has now been deleted.
Speaking to ANI earlier on Thursday, Muraleedharan had said: “Our party has announced that E Sreedharan will be the chief minister candidate.”
WHAT DID MURALEEDHARAN SAID WHILE BACKTRACKING THE STATEMENT?
Later on Thursday, however, Muraleedharan said, "There were some statements E Sreedharan will be the chief ministerial candidate in Kerala. I heard media reports that the party has announced him as the chief minister candidate.”
"After I talked to the party president, he said he hasn't made any statement and was referring to some issue in Kerala. So it should not be considered an announcement. I'm clarifying it,” he added.
Another tweet on the same lines however remains available.
Muraleedharan’s apparent confirmation had come after BJP’s state President K Surendran said that they wanted E Sreedharan to be the CM face in the state.
"'Metro man' E Sreedharan built (a) bridge in five months without corruption. Not like the flyover which had to be brought down and was reflective of CPM-UDF misrule. We have requested the party to make E Sreedharan the Chief Minister candidate," Surendran said on Thursday, according to NDTV.
The development comes the day Sreedharan was also inducted into the election committee of the BJP for the upcoming polls in 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.”
Sreedharan had cited “political resistance” as his desire to join politics and the BJP, saying that he had been living in Kerala for the last ten years and had tried his best to bring in development.
WHO IS 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.
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