Things in the ruling CPI-M led Left was all happy and cheerful following the historic comeback of Pinarayi Vijayan but all changed after news of K.K. Shailaja being dropped from new cabinet became known.
Social media erupted as Shailaja, the most successful Minister in Vijayan’s team was shown the doors as outgoing Health Minister.
Shailaja was the darling of the media here and also abroad, for the way she handled the Covid pandemic, last year, when even advanced countries were finding it hard to contain the virus.
Dropping her from the cabinet amid a brutal second wave in the country created ripples.
Ever since the unpopular move all the who’s who of the Left bastion — right from General Secretary Sitaram Yechuri to Vijayan to politburo members Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, M.A.Baby have been defending her exclusion.
On Thursday came yet another defence by another politburo member S.Ramachandran Pillai.
Pillai’s defence came in the party’s mouthpiece ‘Deshabhimani’ wherein he says it was the decision of the party not to give exemption to anyone.
“The decision was not to give a new term as a legislator to all those who have had two successive terms and as a result 26 sitting legislators did not get a seat to contest and it included five State Ministers. Then came the decision not to include Minister’s from the outgoing cabinet.
“If an exemption was to be made then it would have to be for all 26 legisaltors and 11 ministers and also the Speaker, so the decision was made, there need be no exemption to any,” wrote Pillai.
He said it was the party’s decision to see that a term is fixed for all in posts and it was done so as to give a chance to all to the various posts and it has worked well.
“The media did try to portray that women were not given enough opportunities, but it is not true as the state cabinet has three women ministers (the highest seen in the state so far). Moreover there were comments that the party’s chances will be affected if winnable candidates are not fielded, but since the party had no dearth of winnable candidates, the results also has proved,” said Pillai.
The Vijayan government won 99 seats up from 91 seats in the 2016 assembly polls in the 140 member Kerala Assembly on May 2.
One reason why the CPI-M is doing its best to defend the dropping of Shailaja is on account of the ongoing assembly session which is expected to gather strength from next week and the Covid scene in the state is rough, especially with Vijayan informing that in the next two weeks the number of death is expected to go up and so would the patients seeking hospital care.