Shashi Tharoor downplays Metroman’s impact in Kerala polls

Shashi Tharoor

Chennai: With E Sreedharan throwing his hat in the political ring by deciding to join the BJP, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said the technocrat is likely to have a ‘minimal’ impact on the upcoming Kerala Assembly polls, and asserted that the BJP is not a serious contender except in a few seats in the state.

Tharoor also said it will be very difficult for the BJP to improve upon its performance of winning one seat in the 2016 assembly polls and the high point of Sreedharan’s impact on Kerala elections will turn out to be the announcement of joining the BJP itself.

Tharoor said he was surprised at the announcement that Sreedharan was going to enter the political fray and join the BJP.

He said Sreedharan’s entry came as a surprise to him because the technocrat had a long innings executing engineering projects, not making or implementing policies in a fractious democracy. ‘It’s a very different world’, he added.

E Sreedharan

Asked what kind of impact Sreedharan could have on the Kerala Assembly polls, the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said, “Since he has no political background or experience, I think his impact is likely to be minimal. When I joined politics at 53, I thought I had left it too late to make the kind of impact I felt I was capable of. What can I say about someone who is 88?,” Tharoor said.

On whether Sreedharan’s entry will make the Kerala polls a three-way contest and the BJP will emerge as a serious contender alongside the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF), he said the BJP is not a serious contender at all except in a handful of seats, and it will be very difficult for the party to improve upon the one seat it won last time.

“The high point of the impact (of Sreedharan) will turn out to be this announcement itself,” the 64-year-old former Union Minister said.

Sreedharan, who recently announced that he will enter the political fray by joining the BJP, had told last week that he will contest the assembly elections if the BJP wants and will also be open to chief ministership if the party asks.

Known as the ‘Metroman’ and for completing big infrastructure projects, the 88-year-old technocrat has also said his main aim is to help the BJP come to power in Kerala.


NT Bureau