In an interview with NDTV, E Sreedharan spoke about his decision to take the political plunge and why he is choosing to join the BJP.

Metroman E Sreedharan wearing spectacles and a grey blazer looking up
news Politics Saturday, February 20, 2021 - 13:14

‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan, who is all set to join the BJP, spoke to NDTV on his upcoming political entry and said that he chose to join the party as he wants to change its image in the state of Kerala. Speaking to NDTV’s Sonia Singh on Friday, Sreedharan said BJP is the right party for the state and reasoned why he will be joining a party that has just one MLA and not much influence in Kerala. 

“ is correct that there's only one MLA (in Kerala) today but, I want to change the image and spread of BJP very much in the state today because I personally believe that BJP is the right party today. There are more high standards, people are very upright, and they are hardworking and above all, they are all nation loving people. That is one thing that attracts me to the BJP today,” E Sreedharan said. 

He added that the LDF (Left Democratic Front) and the UDF (United Democratic Front) have been in power alternatively in the state but have not brought about "any tangible improvement in the state or raised the quality of life of the people" in the past 15-20 years.

"Not even one single industry has come to Kerala during the last 20 years. And most rules are rid with corruption and scandals, also sub-scandals. I don't want to talk about it very much in this media. And they are all the time fighting with the Government of India. If parties are fighting with the Government of India, you can't expect much cooperation or much assistance from the centre," he said.

Responding to a question that the BJP has been criticised by people over charges of communal tensions, Sreedharan said that the BJP is being ‘painted’ as a communal party but it is not so. He added he has never seen Prime Minister Narendra Modi attack any religion. 

“It is a party consisting of nation lovers and who accept that all parties, all communities are alike as far as they're concerned. That is the attitude of the Modi government. I can see the way he speaks, I have never seen him at any time attacking any religion. This religious bias is an unnecessarily taunt on BJP and very unjust, according to me,” he added. 

Speaking about the ‘love jihad’ controversy and the BJP’s stand on beef, and what it means for a state which has beef as a part of its daily cuisine, Sreedharan said that it does not matter to him because he is a vegetarian. He also legitimised ‘love jihad’ and claimed that people of all religions are being “tricked” into marriage in the state. 

“Personally, I am a very very strict vegetarian. I don't even eat eggs so, certainly, I don't like anybody eating meat. That is certain and ‘Love Jihad,’ yes, I see what is happening in Kerala. How Hindus are being tricked in a marriage and how they suffer.. not only Hindus, Muslim, the Christian girls are being tricked in a marriage. Now that sort of thing, I certainly will oppose,” he told NDTV. It must be noted that there is no law that talks about ‘love jihad’ and it remains a conspiracy theory spread by right-wing extremists who claim that Muslim men deliberately marry Hindu women to convert them to Islam.

Speaking of Prime Minister Modi, Sreedharan said he shares a good rapport with him, just like the one he shared with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 

“...Very good rapport with him. In fact, he only opened the first section of Delhi Metro.. and his conduct, the way he was behaving was very impressive to me. A man who purchased his own ticket first before travelling the metro train — you see what an example the Prime Minister has set and that is the tradition I expect from the BJP. That sort of uprightness, love for the country and eagerness to serve the interests of the country,” he said. 

The ‘Metroman’ also added that he decided to take the political plunge as he is still keen to do something for society and particularly for his state, Kerala. “And the only way is entering into politics because I don't want to take any more professional responsibilities at this age,” he said.

Watch the interview with NDTV here:

On Friday, E Sreedharan also spoke to news agency PTI where he said that he is open to becoming the Chief Minister of Kerala if the BJP wins in the state in the upcoming Assembly elections. "To tell you very frankly, unless I am the chief minister these (priorities) cannot be achieved," he told PTI.

Read more here: Metroman' E Sreedharan says ready to become CM if BJP wins in Kerala

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