Finally, the chants -- Modi step back, we want metro man -- of Keralites have reached the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), which has agreed to include metro man E Sreedharan to share the dais with Narendra Modi during the inauguration ceremony of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan received the PMO's renewed list of delegates for the function on Thursday evening, and he shared the news via his Facebook page. "Dr. E Sreedharan will be on the dais," the CM confirmed.
Not just the metro man, the leader of the opposition will also be sharing the stage with Modi along with the Kerala chief minister, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu, Governor P Sathasivam, MP KV Thomas, minister Thomas Chandy and Kochi Mayor Soumini Jain. But the PMO has not included PT Thomas' name though the state government had recommended the MLA.
However, on June 17, only the PM, CM and Venkaiah Naidu are allowed to address the gathering. Though Elias George, the MD of KMRL has been assigned to deliver the welcome address, he is not permitted to be on the stage. The inauguration function will take place at 11 am on Saturday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kaloor and Modi will kick off the operations of the 13-km Aluva-Palarivattom corridor of the metro project.
Meanwhile, after the PM's office sidelined Sreedharan in the list sent to the CMO, the decision had irked many, including politicians, celebrities, and netizens, and the hashtag #PMOInsultsMetroMan trended on the social media with many asking the PMO to apologise for insulting the man who had overseen Kerala's ambitious project. Read more: Kochi Metro inauguration in despondency as PMO excludes 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan from the dais