Kerala BJP backs E Sreedharan as the Chief Ministerial candidate
The Kerala unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will urge the party's central leadership to project veteran engineer Elattuvalapil Sreedharan as its Chief Ministerial candidate ahead of the state Assembly elections, due next month. The announcement was made by the saffron party's state chief K Surendran this afternoon. Sreedharan had joined the party last month. Here are more details on this.
'Requested party to make Sreedharan CM candidate'
"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 (sic)," Surendran said today. "The party will soon release a list of other candidates as well," he further said.
Sreedharan had joined the BJP last week
Sreedharan, 88, had joined the BJP at a meeting in Malappuram last week. About his decision to join the party, he had earlier said, "I have noticed that the LDF and UDF are only interested in their political growth, not in the state's growth. In this scenario, it is only the BJP that can do something for the state."
'Difficult to achieve goals unless I become CM'
Sreedharan had earlier told PTI that it would be difficult to achieve the goals he has set for Kerala, "unless I am the Chief Minister." "If BJP comes to power in Kerala, there will be three to four major areas we want to focus. One is infrastructure development in a big way and another is to bring industry to the state."
Today, Sreedharan visited Palarivattom flyover in Kochi
Earlier today, Sreedharan visited the Palarivattom flyover in Kochi and said that he would resign from his advisory position with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). "I will soon submit my resignation as Principal Advisor of DMRC as it is mandatory before filing the nomination for the Assembly poll. However, I hope I'll be able to monitor development projects as an MLA," he said.
A brief about Sreedharan's life and work
Born on June 12, 1932, in the Palakkad district of Kerala, Sreedharan has been the driving force behind some of India's most ambitious railway and metro projects. He retired as the chief of the DMRC on December 31, 2011. He has been honored with several accolades, including the Padma Shri in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.
Shashi Tharoor criticizes Sreedharan's political plunge
However, not everyone has welcomed Sreedharan's political plunge. Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor has opined that Sreedharan would have a "minimal impact." "When I joined politics at 53, I thought I had left it too late to make the kind of impact I felt I was capable of. What can I say about someone who is 88?" he was quoted as saying.
Polls in Kerala due to be held on April 6
The Kerala Assembly elections are due to be held in a single phase on April 6 and the results will be declared on May 2. Currently, the BJP has only one legislator in the 140-member state Assembly. The party will be contesting against the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).