'Metroman' E Sreedharan to join BJP, says party's Kerala unit chief

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(Eds: Adds details, Sreedharan's comments) Kozhikode (Ker), Feb 18 (PTI) 'Metroman' E Sreedharan, a much-admired technocrat who is credited with changing the face of public transport system in the country, will join the BJP giving a boost to the saffron party ahead of the Assembly polls in Kerala The entry of Sreedharan into politics through the BJP was announced by state party chief K Surendran at a press conference here on Thursday.

Surendran said the official function of his joining the party will be held during its two-week long Vijaya Yatra commencing on February 21 from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram to 'expose the misrule' of the present LDF government and previous dispensation led by UDF and prepare the party's ground for the Assembly elections likely to be held in the month of April.

Sreedharan said he was joining the BJP to ensure justice for the people of Kerala who were being deprived of the fruits of development due to the self-centric attitude of the present CPI(M)-led LDF government.

The 88-year old Sreedharan, who played a major role in executing Kerala's ambitious Kochi metro rail project, also said he would contest the Assembly polls if the party decides so.

The constituency will be decided by the BJP, he added.

Hitting out at the present LDF government, Sreedharan said that they could not provide better administration to the people of the state.

The much-admired engineer who had won accolades for finishing the Delhi Metro project within budget and on time said the interest of the party (CPI-M) prevails over the people's interest in the state.

Sreedharan, who was entrusted by the state government with the task to reconstruct a now defunct flyover in Kochi, is unlikely to cooperate with the further projects of the state government.

Earlier, Surendran said the BJP would like to field Sreedharan as a candidate in the Assembly polls.

'We will place this demand before him,' he said.

Surendran alleged that the present LDF government and previous Congress-led UDF had tried to hurt Sreedharan when he opposed their stand on development of the state.

The BJP leader said Sreedharan's decision to join the BJP indicates that the politics in Kerala is turning in favour of his party.

He also said more people will join the party in the coming days.PTI COR TGB SS PTI PTI PTI