Technocrat E Sreedharan who’s set to enter the political fray by joining the BJP next week, on Friday said his main purpose is to help the party come to power in Kerala and that he will be open to chief ministership.
He, however, said the aim will be to help develop infrastructure in a mega way and bring the state out of the debt if the BJP wins the assembly polls that will likely be held in April-May 2021.
Sreedharan who’s also known as ‘Metroman’ is popular for the efficiency in completing big infrastructure projects. He told PTI that he will contest the assembly elections if the party asks him to do so while staying open to chief ministership if the party wants.
Sreedharan, 88, said clearly that he will not be interested in the governorship position, describing it as a “constitutional position and no powers at all”, saying the position will not allow him to make any positive contribution to the state.
He said, “My main idea is to bring BJP to power in Kerala. 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.”
While on a phone call from Ponnani in Kerala where he currently resides, Sreedharan said a finance commission could also be formed for the purpose of improving the finances of the state, which is in a “debt trap today”.
“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,” the technocrat said.
Sreedharan joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is currently seen as a major boost for the party in election-bound Kerala in a state that is being ruled by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) alternately for the past years.
Sreedharan disclosed that he’s certainly ready to be the chief minister, but that will be if the party wants him to be after coming to power.
Sreedharan is likely to formally join the BJP on February 25 and said that he was entering the “political fray” while adding that the reason is to do things for the benefit of Kerala as the UDF and the LDF have not been able to bring any tangible progress to the state.
“Why I chose BJP is for a different reason. The two others in Kerala, UDF, and LDF have been ruling Kerala alternately, and they have not been able to bring any tangible progress to the state, not even one industry has come to the state in the last 20 years.
“They were having tussles with the (central) government all the time. The two governments are not able to see eye to eye on many matters. The development of the state is suffering. If the BJP comes to power here, they will have a good rapport with the Government of India,” he said.
Addressing what it means to join the political fray, Sreedharan said it means that all his professional responsibilities are coming to an end by the end of this month after he must have joined.
“All the responsibilities taken up by me are coming to an end. I thought I will give time for the benefit of Kerala state. That is possible only if we enter politics. Do something for the state,” Sreedharan who is currently working on a project to rebuild a bridge in Kerala said.