‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan said on February 19 that he is open to chief ministership if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) comes to power in Kerala.
Sreedharan said he will contest the Kerala assembly elections if the party wants and will also be open to chief ministership if the party asks.
E Sreedharan’s statement came days ahead of him joining the party. Kerala BJP president K Surendran had announced on February 18 that Sreedharan will be joining the party in the poll-bound state.
Confirming the development, Sreedharan had said: “If the BJP wins Kerala Assembly polls, the focus will be on bringing the state out of debt trap and develop infrastructure there.”
The 88-year-old technocrat has clarified he is not interested in becoming a governor because it is purely a “constitutional position and no powers at all”. If he becomes a governor, he would not be able to make any real contribution towards developing the state, the 'Metroman' said.
He said: “If BJP comes to power in Kerala, there will be three to four major areas we want to focus. One is infrastructure development in a big way, and another is to bring industry to the state.”
'Metro man' E Sreedharan to join BJP, says not a sudden decision
Sreedharan suggested that a finance commission could be formed to improve the finances of the state, which is in a “debt trap today”.
He said: “The state is in a debt trap today, so much of borrowings. And debt burden on each Malayalee is Rs 1.2 lakh today.... That means we are heading for bankruptcy and the government still continues to borrow. The state finances need to be propped up and for that, we need to find a solution.”
He added: “To tell you very frankly, unless I am the chief minister these (priorities) cannot be achieved.”
Sreedharan’s entry into the BJP is being regarded as a major turning point for the party in Kerala, which is supposed to go to polls in a few months. The state has been under Left rule -- Left Democratic Front (LDF) -- and Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) rule alternately for several years.With PTI inputs