Party wanted me to continue as CM, says Vijayan


Seeking to put an end to widespread criticism in the way Health Minister K.K. Shailaja was dropped from the new cabinet while he is continuing, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan pn Wednesday stresssed that it was the party’s decision.

Ever since the CPI-M decided not to retain Shailaja as minister, there has been a huge backlash in the social media against her exclusion.

“It is a valid question that is being asked on why I am continuing for a second term, while no other cabinet colleagues are there… it is because that was the decision of our party,” Vijayan said, denying media reports that the national leadership was unhappy about the dropping of Shailaja.

“The party decided that let there be a new team of cabinet ministers from the CPI-M and it was adhered to. All the ministers from my party in the outgoing cabinet performed very well and hence to give exemption to any would not look good and hence, the decision was made,” he added.

Asked if the absence of Shailaja would create any issues for the new government given the Covid situation, he said: “The work that is going on is a collective one and hence there will be no issue if one person is not there.”

The new 21-member Vijayan ministry will be sworn in by KGovernor Arif Mohammed Khan on 3.30 p.m. on Thursday at the Central Stadium where 500 people will be allowed.

The Congress-led Opposition has decided to boycott the function in the wake of the Covid spread and will watch the proceedings on television. But Vijayan said it was unfortunate because the Opposition has a role and wished they had not boycotted it.

However, the Kerala High Court, which heard a petition against the conduct of the swearing in this manner, asked the government to ensure that this is held with minimum participation and all the Covid protocols are followed.