‘Policy Decision’: KK Shailaja After Being Axed From Next Cabinet
Shailaja said, “There are so many workers in our party. If they get the opportunity, they will also work hard.”
Video Producer: Naman Shah
Video Editors: Mohd Irshad Alam, Purnendu Pritam
KK Shailaja, the face of Kerala’s fight against Nipah and COVID-19 during her stint as health minister, will not be a part of the next Pinarayi Vijayan Cabinet. Instead, she will be appointed as the party’s whip.
Calling it, “a very good decision”, Shailaja told ANI, “It’s a very good thing that a new Cabinet is coming now. Everyone should get an opportunity.”
In an interview with NDTV, Shailaja responded to the move saying, “It is a policy decision of our party. So, according to that decision, I decided to quit.” Referring to the social media outpour against the decision, Shailaja said that “that’s all emotional”.
The 21-member Kerala Cabinet will take oath on Thursday, 20 May.
“All sitting ministers have been dropped, including Health Minister KK Shailaja. The party has selected MB Rajesh as Speaker candidate and KK Shailaja as Party Whip. TP Ramakrishnan has also been appointed as the Parliamentary Party Secretary.”CPI(M) State Committee
Popularly known as ‘Teacher’, Shailaja won by a margin of 61,035 votes – considered the highest in the recent electoral history in recent times – from the Mattannur Assembly constituency. Her victory margin is even bigger than that of Chief Minister-elect Pinarayi Vijayan.
Pointing out that she was not the only one to be dropped, she was quoted as saying, “Everyone, when they get a new responsibility they are freshers and newcomers. We have to give others a chance, too. There are so many workers in our party. If they get the opportunity, they will work hard as well,” NDTV reported.
She added that some people who like a minister, wish for them to continue, but this is collective work. “The Cabinet and my colleague ministers, everyone worked hard in their departments, but that doesn’t mean only I should continue,” she told ANI.
International Acclaim for Fight Against Niaph, COVID
While Shailaja made her Assembly debut 25 years ago, the last five years has put her on the national map – in recognition of handling the Nipah virus attack in the state before COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only did she receive international acclaim for her leadership during the first wave of the pandemic, she is also the face of firefighting the second wave of infections in the state.
“What I want to highlight is that we faced many challenges during our tenure. We had a devastating hurricane, floods, the Nipah virus, and COVID-19 pandemic, but we rose to the occasion each time. The people saw this and were happy with the model of governance in Kerala and hence, we have been voted to power again for the work we have done,” she told NDTV, after her massive victory on 2 May.
‘Whiff Of Sexism’
People took to Twitter to question if the decision to not include Shailaja was guided by ‘ego and sexism.’ Some also pointed that even if the cabinet was full of new faces, the former health minister ‘merits an exception.’
‘Where Is the Continuity’: Twitter Slams Decision to Axe Shailaja
Others took to social media platforms to slam LDF’s decision, asking for the ‘continuity’ that was promised.
(With inputs from NDTV)
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