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KK Shailaja, praised for her work in fighting Covid, dropped from Kerala cabinet

Move sparks sharp reactions on social media, LDF vouches for new faces
KK Shailaja.

Our Bureau, Agencies   |   Thiruvananthapuram   |   Published 18.05.21, 05:08 PM

Kerala Health Minister in the outgoing Assembly, K K Shailaja, did not find a place in the new cabinet on Tuesday, which has 11 new faces from the CPI (M). Shailaja was praised internationally last year for her exceptional work in fighting Covid-19 in Kerala.

CPI(M) veteranPinarayi Vijayan was on the other hand elected its Parliamentary party leader, paving the way for his successive stint as Chief Minister of Kerala.


The state committee of the Marxist party, which met at its headquarters AKG Centre at Thiruvananthapuram elected Vijayan to lead the party, a CPI(M) statement said.

The party state committee, chaired by senior leader Elamaram Kareem, decided to entrust Shailaja with the position of party whip, the statement added.

The Kerala cabinet, which won the elections for the second year in a historic stint, will have a new look altogether, with Vijayan as the only old face.

"No one from the earlier LDF ministry is part of the new ministry except for the Chief Minister. This is our party decision. Only our party has the courage to do so. Many top performers were also not allowed to contest elections. We want new faces," AN Shamsheer, a CPM MLA, was quoted by NDTV as saying.

Those picked for the new cabinet are MV Govindan, K Radhakrishnan, KN Balagopal, P Rajeev, VN Vasavan, Saji Cherian, V Sivankutty, Mohd Riyas, Dr R Bindu, Veena George and V Abdul Rahman, as per a report by NDTV.

Shailaja’s exclusion from the cabinet drew flak on social media.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “Sorry to see Shailaja Teacher leave the Kerala cabinet. Aside from her reputed competence and efficiency, I always found her helpful, responsive and accessible as Health Minister, especially during the #Covid crisis. She will be missed.”

Shailaja had won in the Assembly elections by a huge margin of over 60,000 votes from Mattannur, her constituency and hometown.

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