Engineer Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, popularly known as “metro man”, on Thursday announced that he was leaving active politics, reported the Hindustan Times.
Sreedharan had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the Kerala Assembly polls held in April. He had told reporters that there will be a “landslide switch over” to the BJP in Kerala if he was projected as the chief ministerial candidate.
However, Sreedharan had lost to Congress leader Shafi Parambil in the Palakkad constituency by a margin of 3,859 votes.
Ahead of the polls the former Delhi Metro chief, who has also been involved with metro projects in multiple other cities in the country, had claimed that the BJP was being “painted like a communal party”. Sreedharan had also said that he would oppose the consumption of beef being “a strict vegetarian”, and asserted that incidents of “love jihad” indeed take place in Kerala.
On Thursday, the he said the polls have made him wiser. Sreedharan said that he was sad when he lost in the elections, but has realised that nothing could have been done if he had won and become an MLA, reported India Today .
“I was never a politician,” Sreedharan told reporters in Ponnani, his native town in Malappuram district. “I remained a bureaucratic politician for some time.” Sreedharan said he had made a late entry into politics but his exit was timely.
“I am 90 now and can’t run around like a youngster,” he said. ‘I am associated with three different trusts and I will spend the rest of my time with them.”
When asked if he was leaving politics because of any regrets, Sreedharan said that when he had joined the BJP, he felt the party had good prospects in the state, but that situation has now changed.
“Then [before the 2021 polls], the BJP was having a good time in the state with a vote share of 16% to 17%,” he said. “If the party would have been able to increase it 18 or 19%, we could have played a decisive role in controlling those in power.”
Sreedharan said that the BJP would need to do more to get a foothold in the state.
“I mentioned that in my report to the party president after the election debacle,” he said. “I don’t want to discuss those things now.”
The BJP’s state unit chief expressed surprise on Sreedharan’s decision.
“We heard about this in the media,” BJP state president K Surendran said. “He will be around, and we will seek his guidance and advice on key issues.”