Udayavni Special

BJP Kerala chief K Surendran clarifies remark about CM candidate


PTI, Mar 5, 2021, 5:31 PM IST

Image posted on Facebook

New Delhi: Kerala BJP chief K Surendran on Friday clarified he had not made any announcement on the party’s chief ministerial candidate for the coming assembly elections in the state and said what he expressed was that the people and party workers wanted E Sreedharan to “lead” them.

He said the BJP’s central leadership alone will decide on the party’s chief ministerial candidate.

“What I said yesterday was the people of Kerala and the BJP workers want a leader like E Sreedharan to lead them. There is no doubt in it. Kerala and its people want the leadership of Sreedharan.”

“I am the party chief in Kerala. I know what I said. I never made any announcement yesterday other than saying that the people of Kerala want the leadership of Sreedharan,” Surendran said at Pathanamthitta.

His comments came a day after Union Minister V Muraleedharan tweeted that the ‘Metroman’ will be the CM candidate only to retract later saying the party had not made any such announcement.

Surendran also blamed the media in the state for “wrongly interpreting” what he had said and claimed that the CPI(M) and the Congress were jittery after Sreedharan joined the party.

Earlier on Thursday, Surendran had said that if the NDA “under the leadership of the ‘Metroman’, gets an opportunity to rule the state, we are confident we will be able to implement development works under Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a ten-fold force in Kerala.”

Addressing a party meeting in Thiruvalla, he highlighted the achievements of Sreedharan, including completing the reconstruction of the Palarivattom flyover here in five months, much ahead of the stipulated time.

“He completed the project in five months without any corruption. That is why we requested Sreedharan and our party leadership that he should be projected as the (NDA’s) Chief Minister candidate,” he had said.

This was the first time the party indicated that Sreedhran will be the NDA’s chief ministerial candidate.

Confusion prevailed among BJP cadres since Thursday after Muraleedhran withdrew a tweet saying the ‘Metroman’ will be the chief ministerial candidate of the saffron party for the Assembly elections on April 6.

Muraleedharan on Thursday night clarified that he wanted to inform that through media reports he learnt that the party has announced Sreedharan as the chief ministerial candidate.

But when he cross-checked with Kerala party unit president Surendran, he said he had not made any such announcements, Muraleedharan had said.

The union minister’s social media post on Sreedharan’s leadership in the Assembly polls came hours after Surendran said he had requested the party’s national leadership to announce ‘Metroman’ as the NDA’s chief ministerial candidate.

Sreedharan, the 88-year old technocrat had recently announced his decision to end his 24-year long career with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to enter electoral politics.

He has said his main aim was to help the party come to power in Kerala and that he will be open to chief ministership.

The ‘Metroman’, who is all set to contest the assembly polls on a BJP ticket, said he will file the nomination papers after resigning from the post of DMRC’s Principal Advisor.

Sreedharan, now a member of the BJP state Election Committee, said he had requested the party leadership to field him from a constituency not far from his residence in Ponnani in Malappuram district.

Predicting a big victory for the BJP in the polls, the technocrat said his campaign style will be different from that of a normal politician.

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