“I also saw the media reports, but no such discussions have happened so far," Sreedharan told TNM.

E Sreedharan
news News Thursday, June 03, 2021 - 19:32

Amid outrage to call back Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Patel for proposing contentious administrative regulations in the islands, reports surfaced that noted technocrat and BJP leader E Sreedharan, popularly known as ‘Metroman’, would be appointed as the new Administrator by the Union government. However, speaking to TNM, E Sreedharan denied such reports, and stated that no such discussions have happened so far. “I have had no such communication or discussions with any of the BJP leaders or Union ministers. I also saw the media reports, but no such discussions  have happened so far," Sreedharan told TNM.

Controversy has been brewing around the administratorship of Lakshadweep Islands after outrage over new reforms being introduced by incumbent administrator Praful Patel. The former Gujarat home minister is the first non-civil service person to be appointed to the administrator position in Lakshadweep. Last week, many of the islands’ residents started asking for Patel to be called back and were sharing their grievances and protest with the hashtag #SaveLakshadweep. Several noted names such as actor Prithviraj, footballer CK Vineeth and actor Geetu Mohandas also extended their support to the campaign.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan too expressed concerns over the reforms that could be introduced under Patel’s leadership such as proposals to ban beef, expand roads, barring those with more than two children from contesting panchayat elections, and for the authorities to take up land for development work by evicting locals. The Kerala Assembly recently passed a resolution demanding to call back Lakshadweep Administrator, amid the brewing protests among residents in the region.

Some days ago, Lakshadweep Collector Asker Ali, who held a press meet in Kochi, had defended the contentious regulations, stating that the ongoing social media campaign against the Administrator is ‘misleading’ and that it is led by people outside Lakshadweep.

E Sreedharan joined BJP last February and had contested in the past Kerala Assembly election as the party’s candidate from Palakkad constituency. Though the 88-year-old was even projected as the chief ministerial candidate by the BJP, he suffered a major defeat, losing to Congress’s Shafi Parambil.

Read: An assault on culture and nature: Why Lakshadweep is against Administrator Patel