Kochi Metro inauguration: ‘Metro man’ Sreedharan to share stage with Modi

Thiruvananthapuram: A day after the state government’s intervention, the PMO on Thursday said that ‘Metro man’ E Sreedharan has been included in the list of dignitaries who will share the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Kochi Metro inauguration on June 17.

This puts an end to the controversy over the non-inclusion of DMRC principal adviser Sreedharan, popularly known as Metro man, from the list of dignitaries sharing the dais with the prime minister.

Information in this regard was received at the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, an official release said.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has also agreed to include the name of Opposition leader in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala among the dignitaries to be present on the stage, it said.

The PMO’s intervention comes in the wake of the Chief Secretary writing to it in this regard on Wednesday.

However, as per information received by CMO’s office here, the name of PT Thomas, local Congress MLA, has not be included as requested by the state government.

A controversy had erupted in the state as the name of Sreedharan, who was associated with the project from the very beginning, was not found in the list of names of dignitaries who will share the stage with Modi for the inaugural function.

Earlier at Kochi, Sreedharan sought to downplay the controversy and said there was nothing unusual in the decision of not being invited on the stage as such restrictions were usual in a programme being attended by the prime minister.

He also inspected the arrangements for the inauguration. “Please don’t make a controversy over the issue. Prime Minister’s security is important,” Sreedharan said, adding that the programme should be conducted as per the preparations made by the prime minister’s security agencies.