No ministerial berth for K K Shailaja, all new faces in Vijayan's new Cabinet
New Delhi, May 18: In an unexpected move, KK Shailaja, Kerala's Health Minister, who was praised for handling the Covid pandemic, has been left out of the new cabinet of the Left-led government. She has been picked as the party's Whip.
She is credited for her prompt action in tracking, isolation, and containment of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
She had previously worked on the containment of the Nipah virus as well.
Last year, the UK-based Prospect magazine selected Teacher as the "Top Thinker of the Year 2020".
"She was the right woman in the right place. When Covid-19 was still a China story in January, she not only accurately foresaw its inevitable arrival, but also fully grasped the implications," the Magazine piece read.
"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," said a statement from CPI(M) state committee.
Shailaja fondly referred to as teacher, who made waves with her handling of COVID-19 as health minister created history in the Kerala Assembly elections.
She secured the highest margin of victory in the history of an assembly election in the state. The 64 year old CPI(M) leader won from Mattannur in Kannur district with a margin of 60,963 votes.
The swearing-inceremony of the new CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala, headed by Pinarayi Vijayan, is scheduled to be held on May 20 at the Central Stadium here. According to Vijayan, the ceremony would be held by adhering to COVID-19 protocol.
The function would be held in the presence of 500 invited guests at the stadium, which has the capacity to hold 50,000 people.
Besides 140 newly elected MLAs, 29 members of Parliament of the state, representatives of the judiciary and the media would be invited for the function.