Kochi metro, metro man, e sreedharan, narendra modi
Kochi Metro inauguration: Sreedharan (left), PM ModiFacebook

The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is one of the most ambitious projects for the state, and it is set to be inaugurated at 11 am on Saturday, June 17.

Also read: Kochi Metro inauguration in despondency as PMO excludes 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan from the dais

Narendra Modi has been invited to inaugurate the first metro service in the state, and as per the instructions of the Prime Minister's Office, only the PM, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu and four other delegates would be allowed to be on the dais for the function. However, the decision of the PMO has irked many, including the state government, politicians, celebrities, and common people of Kerala, who are especially miffed with the sidelining of E Sreedharan, who is the principal advisor for the metro project.

MUST CHECK: Do's and dont's to remember while taking a ride in Kochi metro

Actress Khushbu Sundar reacted to the matter via her Twitter handle. "Shame tat BJP 4 trying 2 tke the credit 4 everythng.Ignoring 'MetroMan' #E.Sreedharan in kerala n pushing brand 'Namo' is unfair n shameful [sic]," she posted.

Shashi Tharoor

Insecurity of being upstaged by people of real merit?

The hashtag #PMOInsultsMetroMan has been trending on social media, and netizens have been asking the PM to apologise for insulting Sreedharan. "If the security of the PM is the main issue, then he should step back," commented a social media user.

Check out social media reactions and funny memes on PMO's decision on excluding E Shridharan from the dais during Kochi metro inauguration:

Sudeep Basu‏

No modern country will sideline&humiliate honest&hardworking people like E Sreedharan.PM should apologize. #PMOInsultsMetroMan

Sankar Das‏

Megalomaniac Modi can't tolerate any1 else gettin more attention thn him so he removd Sreedhran frm the official program #PMOInsultsMetroMan


If security is the issue then PM would have step back. Kerala is one of the peaceful pieces of land in India. #PMOInsultsMetroMan pic.twitter.com/iH642OWQ4V

Rinshad Rasheed‏

Dear PMO, the man behind metro is not any brainless bhakth! Its E Sreedharan!U cant sideline him, b it whatever reason. #PMOInsultsMetroMan

No celebration for us without E Sreedharan


When #KochiMetro goes for its Maiden Run, E Sreedharan is 'The Man' who should be congratulated most. #PMOInsultsMetroMan

Jeboy Jacob Mathew‏

The man who ran day in and out to make #KochiMetro a reality is being insulted! #PMOInsultsMetroMan


Meanwhile, the photo of a flex board by BJP Ernakulam District Committee, hailing the party for "making Metro project dream come true" has gone viral on social media. People are asking if this flex board isn't the sole contribution of the party ever since Modi was invited for the inauguration.

Also, as per the funny memes by netizens, "cows would be considered as chief guests" of the inauguration ceremony, considering the "attachment of the PM with the animals" and in the wake of the ban of cattle sale for slaughter. 

On Thursday, in a letter to the PMO, Pinarayi Vijayan requested inclusion of the names of Sreedharan, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and MLA PT Thomas in the list of delegates sharing the dais with the PM.  

However, after checking the last-minute preparations of Kochi Metro's commercial run, Sreedharan said to reporters: "There is no need to make this into a controversy. Security of the PM is important and it has to be done according to what that agency says. I am not sad."