- PM to inaugurate Kochi metro on Saturday
- Metro boss E Sreedharan won't be seated on stage with PM
- Prime Minister's Office removed his name, say Kochi metro officials
The office of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who wrote to the Prime Minister's Office yesterday asking it to allow Mr Sreedharan to be on stage with Mr Modi, has tweeted:
As the top advisor to the Delhi Metro Rail Corp, which has constructed the Kochi metro, Mr Sreedharan played a lead role in the new project and many have objected to what they describe as his being sidelined.
"We should not create controversy over this issue. The PM's safety should be given the priority...It is compulsory that whatever decisions taken by the safety agency for the safety of PM should be followed,' Mr Sreedharan told news agency ANI.
Kochi metro officials claimed Mr Sreedharan was included in the seating plan they sent for review to Mr Modi's office. "The final list is made by the PMO (Prime Minister's Office). We have no role in this," said Elias George, a top official of the Kochi Metro Rail Corp, according to news agency IANS.
But Mr Sreedharan said he does not feel insulted and he will attend Saturday's function. "I feel no heaviness...I will certainly be there.. I will attend the programme," he said.
Construction of the Kochi metro began in 2012; on Saturday, the Prime Minister will ride a local train. For now, a 25-km stretch is being opened to the public.
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