Thiruvananthapuram, April 18 : The "Metro Man of India", Dr E. Sreedharan is a late entrant to politics and he entered with a bang bringing in both bouquets and brickbats. While there has been an overwhelming response to his politics from the middle and upper class, there has been harsh criticism from the ruling Left Democratic Front and the opposition, United Democratic Front. The BJP on the other hand is brimming with confidence that their Kerala unit could rope in such a person with a national appeal to its fold. Metro Man spoke to IANS in a brief interview.
Q: Sir you are in the new garb of a politician, How was the transition? A: The decision to join BJP and contest Kerala Assembly elections was sudden but with a firm purpose to bring good and clean governance to the State.
Q: What are your expectations from the Palakkad seat? A: I am confident I will win the seat with a comfortable margin.
Q: After your joining the BJP, the party has gained semblance of respect in Kerala, Your comment? A: The BJP has earned respect and confidence of the whole country. Otherwise people would not have voted and elected it to power for a 2nd time with a thumping majority in 2019. No doubt, by my joining the BJP, its Kerala front got a good boost to its image.
Q: If elected, what are your priorities for Palakkad? A: I have already drawn up a master plan for Palakkad for the next 20 years, in which priorities are - ensuring 24X7 drinking water supply, set up facilities for solid waste management, massive afforestation to provide a green cover to the city, improved roads and a public transport system, upgrade medical and educational facilities and to bring industries to the district to provide employment opportunities.
Q: What was your experience as electioneering was a first time activity? A: Electioneering was a relaxed and easy affair as BJP had provided a strong and effective support for this purpose.
Q: The Government of India under Prime minister Narendra Modi is doing several good schemes for the welfare of the people. Do you feel that the state government failed to implement these in Kerala? A: The State Government not only failed to sincerely implement the Central Schemes but also took credit for some of the schemes showing them as State schemes. All the time the State Govt was at loggerheads with the Centre. Thus the State lost a good opportunity for development - like losing an All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Q: There were harsh critcisms when you entered politics. What was your feel? A: I don't think there were harsh criticisms. Obviously the LDF and a section of UDF did not like the idea as it would take away their traditional votes. In any case, as an ardent follower of Bhagwat Gita, I have learned to receive bouquets and brick-bats with equal ease and comforts.
Q: You are the "Metro Man of India" and as a person who lived in Delhi, I've experienced the smooth functioning of the metro rail there. Do you have any master plan for Kerala which will transform lives of people here? A: In my professional life also, I had many ups and downs but I was able to finally achieve my objectives. In politics it may not be so easy. To Kerala State, my priorities are basic infrastructure facilities, attract and establish industries in the State which will bring in wealth and job opportunities, lift up the educational and medical standards across the board, and bring in a transparent, corruption free and effective Government. In short, make Kerala the most prosperous state in the country.