Beyond Metros, India, Kerala

Kochi Metro to be inaugurated by PM Modi, excludes VIPs including Sreedharan

As PM Modi on Saturday is set to inaugurate the Kochi Metro, reports say that the list of dignitaries doesn’t include important people onto the dais of the inaugural function. The list also excludes  Delhi Metro adviser E Sreedharan. Only four people including Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the inaugural platform during the function.

Besides Modi, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Governor P Sadasivam, State Transport Minister Thomas Chandy and Kochi Mayor Saumini Jain will be present on the dais. KMRL had submitted a list of 13 persons to be included in the inaugural platform of the Kochi Metro.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, MP from Ernakulam K V Thomas, MLAs P T Thomas, Hibi Eden and Kochi Metro MD Elias George have also been avoided from the dais. Such a decision was taken after considering the opinion of SPG (Special Protection Group) team, which is in charge of the prime minister’s security. Notably, avoiding Ramesh Chennithala and Sreedharan has evoked criticism from several quarters. PT Thomas said he was opposing the Centre’s decision.

However, Sreedharan said there was nothing unnatural about not giving him a seat on the dais.

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