Sreedharan’s ‘chief ministership’ in tatters as BJP retracts

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 05, 2021

Kerala unit denies making announcement

Metroman E Sreedharan’s candidature as the chief ministerial face in Kerala as ‘announced’ by Kerala BJP President K Surendran around Thursday noon lay in tatters the same evening after Union Minister V Muraleedharan and former state party president seemed to rule out the possibility in far-away New Delhi.

After tweeting earlier that the ‘Metroman,’ who had recently joined the BJP, will be its candidate as the helmsman in the Kerala Assembly elections scheduled to be held on April 6, Muraleedharan clarified in the national capital in the evening that the party ‘had not made any such announcement.’

Sreedharan ends DMRC stint

The Union Minister said that he wanted to inform that he wanted to convey that ‘he had learned from media reports that the party had announced Sreedharan as the chief ministerial candidate.’ But when he cross-checked with state party President Surendran, the latter had denied that he had made any such announcement.

The development comes on a day the 88-year-old Sreedharan announced his decision to end his 24-year-long career with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to enter electoral politics. This was also the first time the party indicated that Sreedharan will be the NDA’s chief ministerial candidate.

Political observers here opined that the national leadership of the party could well have viewed the ‘announcement’ as premature and made largely on the spur of the moment. It may be recalled that the party has not named a chief ministerial candidate for its prestigious fights for the Bengal and Assam elections.

Sreedharan, toast of Kerala BJP

In his tweet, Muraleedharan had said that, “BJP4Keralam will fight Kerala polls with E Sreedharan Ji as its Chief Ministerial candidate. We will defeat both CPIMKerala & INCKerala to provide a corruption-free, development-oriented governance for the people of Kerala.”

The tweet about Sreedharan’s elevation as the projected CM candidate had come hours after Surendran, considered Muraleedharan’s protégé, had announced at a reception in Kerala that he had requested the party’s national leadership to announce the ‘Metroman’ as the chief ministerial candidate.

Surendran, who is leading the party’s Vijay Yatra across the state had said that if the NDA under the leadership of Sreedharan gets an opportunity to rule the state, “we are confident we will be able to implement development works under Prime Minister Narendra Modi with total dedication and in time.”

Lasting achievements

Addressing a meeting convened in Tiruvalla in Central Kerala where his Vijaya Yatra was accorded a reception, Surendran had singled out Sreedharan’s achievements as a technocrat, including restoration of the much-reviled Palarivattom flyover in the heart of Kochi, much ahead of the stipulated time.

Meanwhile, referring to tweets clarifying the BJP’s party’s position, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor couldn’t resist a jibe. “Hilarious! BJP4Keralam manages to be confused about who will occupy the top floor of a building that will never be built. There will be no BJP CM in Kerala,” Tharoor had said in his tweet.

Published on March 05, 2021

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