E Sreedharan to work for Palakkad development

Palakkad: Technocrat-turned-politician and BJP candidate E Sreedharan said he will work for the comprehensive development of basic facilities in Palakkad.

Speaking after his defeat to Shafi Parambil of the UDF in a closely fought Assembly election, Sreedharan said he had made it clear during the campaign itself that he would continue to serve Palakkad, irrespective of the poll outcome.

Sreedharan said he would hold talks on Palakkad's development with municipal council members. He also revealed that his rival candidate, Parambil, had contacted him over the phone, seeking support in developing the constituency.

Sreedharan, popularly known as India’s Metro Man, refrained from blaming anyone for the poll defeat. The party workers worked hard, he said, without ruling out undercurrents that might have influenced the result.

The technocrat said he was neither overly excited while leading, nor was disappointed over the defeat. It was his habit to accept success and failure alike, 88-year-old Sreedharan said.

The BJP candidate had been maintaining a steady lead from the start of counting, giving an impression that he would dash Parambil's hat-trick hopes. But the UDF candidate surged ahead of Sreedharan as the votes outside the municipal areas were counted, and ended up winning by 3,859 votes.

Sreedharan said he was hoping to devote more time to ‘Friends of Bharathapuzha,’ an environmental conservation collective formed to protect the river.

He said he had quit the chairmanship of the Dal Lake expert committee, constituted to cleanse and restore the ecosystem of the lake at Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir. He cited pandemic-related difficulties to continue in the lake panel.

Sreedharan is the founding chairman of the Delhi-based Foundation for Restoration of National Values, an organization formed to instill Indian values in students and institutions. The inclusion of the organisation’s recommendations in the Nation Education Policy, 2020, was an achievement, he said.

The octogenarian added that the Government of Karnataka included the Foundation's recommendations in the manual prepared for teachers. Though a positive response was received during a meeting with the Kerala education minister, there were no follow-up actions, Sreedharan said.

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