Thiruvananthapuram: Metro Man E Sreedharan on Friday denied reports he is being considered by NDA as its candidate for the Presidential polls, calling the rumours as “people’s imagination.”
Sreedharan flatly refused that he was a part of any such discussions with the government. “There have been no talks with me. People have got their own imagination,” he said.
The former Delhi Metro Chief said there are more deserving people than him in the country for the President’s post. “If someone approaches me, I will see about it at that time. It is too premature to talk about it. In any case, it is most unlikely,” he said, while speaking to News18.
Sreedharan, who was the principal advisor in the construction of the Kochi Metro and had played a lead part in it, said the controversy over sharing the stage with the Prime Minister at the launch of the Metro service was completely unnecessary.
Sreedharan’s name was in the initial seating list for the stage, but it was removed by the PMO. However, it was added a day later after Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“This was an unnecessary controversy. When a PM comes, safety protocols have to be kept in mind and many people cannot be accommodated. They have stick to the rule book. I myself have conducted so many programmes previously with PMs. I have no grievance about it,” he said.
He said he welcomes the fact that his name was added back to the seating list. “I thank people and the media as they vociferously asked to give me a seat on the dias. Now that has come, I welcome it,” he said.
Construction of the Kochi metro had started in 2012. For now, a 25-km stretch is being opened to the public on Saturday. Sreedharan said he is very happy with how the Metro line has shaped up.
He said the construction was challenging as most of the work was done at night due to narrow roads and high rainfall. “Nearly 80% of the work was done at night. In other cities, a large chunk of work was done during the day too, which made it easier,” said Sreedharan.
He said he is grateful to the people of the city as they were caused a lot of inconvenience but never complained. He also requested the people to maintain discipline while using the Metro.
“This is not just as a means of transport but an agent to change the life of people. To use the Metro, a lot of discipline is required. We have to maintain orderliness and cleanliness. It will change the social attitude of the people and bring a new living culture,” he said.