The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Thursday informed the Kerala government that E Sreedharan will be among the dignitaries on the dais for the Kochi Metro rail service inauguration function. This came a day after the state government had written to the PMO, following exclusion of Sreedharan from the list of people who were to share the dais with the Prime Minister at the inauguration on Saturday.
The exclusion of Sreedharan, who is the principal advisor to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), triggered a controversy in Kerala. Sreedharan is the mentor of Kochi Metro project that the DMRC is constructing.
The Kerala government had written to the PMO on Wednesday demanding that Sreedharan, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and local legislator P T Thomas be included among the guests, who will share the dais with Modi.
The PMO on Thursday communicated to the Kerala Chief Minister’s office that Sreedharan and Chennithala will be given slots on the dais. But Thomas’s name does not figure on the revised list of dignitaries.
Sreedharan said his exclusion should not lead to any controversy. “The security of the Prime Minister is important,” he said.
The state government had reportedly given a list of 17 people who it wanted on the dais with Modi. The list included Sreedharan, Chennithala, Thomas and Chief Secretary Nailin Netto, among others.