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Ex-Journalist Veena George To Replace KK Shailaja As Kerala Health Minister

KK Shailaja, the face of Kerala’s fight against Nipah and Covid-19, was dropped as health minister.

For the first time in its history, a woman journalist-turned politician will become a minister in Kerala.

CPI(MP) leader and MLA Veena George will most likely be replacing KK Shailaja as the new health minister of Kerala. On May 18, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Pinarayi Vijayan selected his cabinet, but dropped Shailaja, the face of Kerala’s fight against Nipah and Covid-19 during her stint as health minister.

George, who had excelled as journalist and news anchor in various Malayalam news channels, was selected by the party to be a minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government.

The ruling LDF had swept the April 6 polls, winning 99 of the 140 seats.

Entering electoral politics with a victory from Aranmula assembly seat in the 2016 polls, she was re-elected from the same constituency in Pathanamthitta district with a margin of 19,003 votes five years later.

In the 2016 polls, she had wrested the constituency from the Congress, defeating the nearest rival Sivadasan Nair by a margin of 7,646 votes.

George, a mother of two, is a member of the CPI(M) Pathanamthitta area committee.

A rank holder of MSc (Physics) and BEd, 45-year-old George began her political career as an activist of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the CPI(M).

Her husband Dr George Joseph, a higher secondary school teacher, has served as secretary of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

A church official said Church head Baselios Marthoma Paulose II telephoned George to congratulate her on her achievement.

Besides George, two other women will also become ministers in the new government.

While CPI(M) has nominated Prof R Bindu, wife of CPI (M) acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan, CPI has selected its senior leader and Chadayamangalam MLA J Chinchu Rani to represent the party in the cabinet.

This is for the first time, the CPI is nominating a woman as a minister in the state.

With PTI inputs

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