“An exemption for one person cannot be given as there were also other performing ministers in the last government,” Mr Vijayan added.
The decision to drop Communist Party of India (M) leader KK Shailaja from the state cabinet was made by the party, said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday.
Mr Vijayan further added that an exemption cannot be made for Shailaja, who had gathered much praise even globally for her handling of first wave of pandemic, as there were also other performing ministers in the last government.
“It was the party’s decision not to include anyone for two consecutive terms as ministers. It was based on this policy that KK Shailaja was not included in the new cabinet. An exemption for one person cannot be given as there were also other performing ministers in the last government,” Mr Vijayan added.
He added that the criticism of not including the cabinet minister has been taken constructively.
“As I said, it was a general decision of the party. I am continuing as CM as the party asked me to. The new ministers will also perform well,” he said.
The 64-year-old former minister, widely popular in the state as “Shailaja Teacher”, had won by the biggest margin in the recent Kerala assembly election, that brought historic feat for the incumbent LDF as it proceeded to form the government in the state for the second straight term.
KK Shailaja won by over 60,000 votes from her constituency in Kannur district.
Ms Shailaja was praised widely and referred to as “rockstar” health minister for her role in handling of the Covid outbreak in Kerala, which scored early successes in containing the spread of the virus in the first wave.
She had also drawn appreciation for the way she managed the Nipah virus crisis.
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