Popular as India's "metro man", E Sreedharan retired as chief of the Delhi Metro in 2011. The 88-year-old confirmed to news sources that he has decided to join the party, and only official formalities remained.
It is reported that Sreedharan will join the party during its state-wide Vijay Yatra in Kerala from Sunday.
State BJP President K Surendran also said at a news conference on Thursday that Sreedharan would be joining the party soon and would be present at the Vijay Yatra the BJP has organised as its people outreach program across the state. and may also contest the Kerala election, due by May, although there are questions about the BJP's cut-off point of 75 years for elections, applied previously to veterans like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
The BJP is in an attempt to rope in popular figures and cash in on their popularity. However, though highly popular as a technocrat with many an engineering feat to his credit, right from Delhi metro to Konkan railway and other metros of Lucknow, Jaipur and Kochi, in different official capacities, it remains to be seen whether that will translate into votes.
It is also a moot point if he will remain as acceptable across the political spectrum of Kerala, once he throws his lot with a political party and contests election. Although he has said he is open to contest the upcoming Kerala assembly election, it is not clear whether the BJP will exempt him from the age limit of 75 years, on which basis the party had denied party tickets to senior leaders, LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
Sreedharan has been living in his native Kerala for over 10 years now and said that he wanted to do something for the state. Sreedharan was awarded the Padma Shri in 2001 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.