A day after news emerged that ‘Metro Man’ E. Sreedharan’s name was not on the list of dignitaries who will be on the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of Kochi Metro, Sreedharan sought to downplay the incident on Thursday saying he was not disappointed and that security of the Prime Minister is important. In a statement to news agency ANI, Sreedharan said, “Don’t make it into a controversy. Security of PM is important, must follow what security agency says. I am not disappointed.”
The Kerala government on Wednesday had sent a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office urging it to reconsider the decision and include him among the guests. Sreedharan is principal adviser to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which completed the project in four years. News of his name missing from the list of dignitaries to be present on the dais with the Prime Minister sparked a controversy in Kerala, where the project has been riding on the image of the ‘Metro Man’, as Sreedharan is popularly called. Also read: E Sreedharan’s name missing from list of dignitaries for Kochi Metro inauguration, Kerala writes to PMO
The programme, which was cleared by PMO, also did not include names of Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and local legislator P T Thomas among guests on the dais. The state government had reportedly sent a list of 17 people who it wanted to share the dais with PM Modi. Some names included Sreedharan, Chennithala, Thomas and Chief Secretary Nailin Netto, among others.