Kochi Metro: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ‘crops’ Kummanam Rajashekharan out
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Kerala’s dream project- the Kochi metro. Kochi is now only the seventh city in India to operate metro rail services after Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Jaipur and Chennai.
The Prime Minister flagged off the metro and also took an inaugural ride on-board the train with other dignitaries, including Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Governor P Sathasivam, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan and some other officials.
BJP State president Kummanam Rajashekharan had also accompanied the dignitaries on the inaugural metro ride. Him travelling with high profile regional and national level officials has paved way for a fresh controversy.
Apparently, Kummanam Rajashekharan’s name was not included in the list that was submitted to the Special Protection Group (SPG) who are in charge of the Prime Minister’s security. It is seen as a serious protocol breach as other prominent leaders like opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala were absent from the dignitaries who took the inaugural ride.
In what looks like a deliberate dig at Kummanam and the BJP, the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) have updated an acknowledgement post in Facebook, in which the BJP leader’s face has been cropped out.
Like always, social media users were quick to react with a series of trolls against Kummanam Rajashekharan. Many have accused the BJP president for misusing his party leadership post to gain popularity.
The first phase of metro service comprises a 13 km stretch between Aluva and Palarivattom. The metro is scheduled to start commercial operations from Monday morning onwards. Trains will operating simultaneously from Aluva and Palarivattom stations, starting at 6 AM and ending by 10 PM.