Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP in Kerala received a shot in the arm ahead of crucial Assembly polls with “Metro Man” E. Sreedharan announcing his decision to join the party.
The 88-year-old legendary engineer is set to join the BJP during the party’s “Vijay Yatra” which will be flagged off by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in Kasargod on Sunday.
"I am joining the BJP with the belief that I will be able to do something for the state. I am not interested in becoming governor. The LDF and UDF are not able to do anything for the development of the state. They are only going for confrontation with the Centre. Kerala lacks an investor-friendly environment,” he told media persons.
“I have a good name in Kerala. I enjoy the goodwill of people. If a person like me joins BJP, more people will get attracted and join the party,” he said.
Notwithstanding the fact that leaders of his age in BJP are now mainly confined to the “marg darshak mandal”, the party is likely to make an exception and field him in the forthcoming Assembly polls.
The “Metro Man” said the decision to join BJP was not taken hurriedly. “For the past 10 years I have been in Kerala. I viewed the state from close quarters. I find that most political parties are shying away from working for the state. Instead they are prompted by their party and organisational interests,” he said.
The architect of Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro which changed the face of public transport in the country, played a major role in starting metro rail in Jaipur, Lucknow and Kochi subsequently. After retirement from Delhi Metro in 2011, he has been confined to his native place Ponnani, Malappuram district.
Mr Sreedharan says he has many plans for the development of the state. Though he worked closely with the LDF government on a couple of projects, he feels that the Left rule has not been up to the mark. He believes only the BJP can usher in the required development.
He disclosed that he has discussed his ideas of development of Kerala with state BJP leaders and said that most of his ideas will be incorporated in the BJP manifesto for Kerala polls.
Though the BJP is not a major player in Kerala’s political landscape with just one MLA in the 140-member state Assembly, the party has been trying to break the highly polarised, bipolar politics involving mainly the CPM-led LDF and Congress-led UDF. The BJP did manage to secure 15 per cent vote share in the 2014 Assembly polls.
Earlier, BJP Kerala state unit president K. Surendran said Sreedharan's entry into the party would give a boost to the party.