Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, an engineer who retired as the chief of Delhi Metro and was involved with metro projects in multiple other cities in the country, will join the Bharatiya Janata Party months ahead of the elections in Kerala, ANI reported. K Surendran, the state unit chief of BJP, announced on Thursday that Sreedharan will join the party on February 21 in a campaign programme called “Vijay Yatra”.
Sreedharan is popularly known as “Metro man” of India. “I have been living in Kerala for 10 years, but I have noticed that the LDF [Left Democratic Front] and UDF [United Democratic Front] are only interested in their political growth, not in the state’s growth,” he told The News Minute, confirming the development. “In this scenario, it is only the BJP that can do something for the state.”
He also criticised other parties suggesting that they were showing India in a “bad light”, reported NDTV. “Political parties with vested interests are projecting India in a very bad light nationally and opposing just for the sake of opposing,” Sreedharan said.
He also said that he was open to contesting elections if the saffron party wanted. The BJP, which currently has one MLA in the 140-member Kerala Assembly, will contest the state polls, scheduled in April-May, against the ruling LDF – a coalition of Left parties and the Congress-led UDF.
On being asked about the BJP’s take on matters of “love jihad” and the Sabarimala temple, Sreedharan said that he believes in the party and that its stand was correct.
“Love jihad” is a conspiracy theory espoused by right-wing Hindutva activists, alleging that Hindu women are forcibly converted by Muslims through marriage. Meanwhile, the Sabarimala temple tradition bars women between ages 10 to 50, from entering its premises. The BJP supports blocking their entry.
Sreedharan, 88, was awarded the Padma Shri in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.