Why did ‘Metro Man’ Sreedharan become a politician at 88? The BJP leader answers
India's 'Metro Man’ Elattuvalapil Sreedharan had announced on February 18 that he would be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the crucial assembly elections in Kerala. On February 25, Sreedharan was formally inducted into the BJP in the presence of its Kerala unit chief K Surendran and said that it was one of the greatest moments of his life.
Sreedharan, who is often asked reasons behind his decision to join politics at the age of 88, said on Sunday he had 'enough energy to work'. He was addressing the party’s Kerala Vijay Yatra in the Shangumugham area. “Many people ask me why I entered politics at this age. My answer is I worked on many projects for the country. At this age too, I have enough energy to work and I want to use it for the development of Kerala. That's why I joined the BJP,” he said, according to news agency ANI.
This comment of the BJP leader comes after his remarks on March 4 when he had said that it was the ‘mental’ age rather than the ‘physical’ age that decided on what responsibilities one should opt for. “Mentally, I am very alert and young. So far, I don’t have any issues with health. I don’t think health will be much of an issue. I will not be working as a normal politician. I will continue to work like a technocrat,” the ‘Metro Man’ said while paying a visit to the Palarivattom flyover in Kochi.
Sreedharan has, however, requested the BJP to allot him a constituency that is not far away from his home town Ponnani. He expressed confidence the BJP will be elected to power in Kerala and said on March 4 that he was expecting a huge victory in the elections. “People know very well what is good for them and what is good for the state. I am very confident they will elect the BJP to power,” he had said.
Sreedharan has been credited for his work in transforming the country’s public transportation system. He has played a crucial role in the setting up of the Kolkata Metro and the Delhi Metro and has also been felicitated with several national and international awards.
However, his entry into politics has evoked mixed reactions among the political fraternity. While the BJP has highlighted his achievements as a technocrat and said that the ‘New Kerala’ under his leadership would pave the way towards an effective and efficient state government; the Congress has said that his impact in politics would be minimal as the BJP has very less presence among the state’s public.
The election for the 140-member Kerala assembly is set to be held on April 6 and the counting of votes would take place on May 2. More than 26.7 million voters would elect the candidates for the 15th legislative assembly.