Updated: May 21, 2021 10:52:34 am
Journalist-turned-politician Veena George has been given the Health Ministry portfolio in the new Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet, taking the reins from K K Shailaja, who has been elected as the party’s Whip.
Shailaja, who was praised globally for her handling of the Covid crisis, was among five CPI(M) ministers from the previous government who won in the Assembly elections but were kept out of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s 21-member Cabinet. The decision had raised eyebrows within party circles, especially among the central leadership since it was widely believed in the run-up to government formation that she would be exempted from the newcomers norm.
Veena, 44, the youngest minister in the Vijayan Cabinet, was sworn-in on Thursday, May 20. She won the April 6 Assembly elections from the Aranmula constituency of Pathanamthitta district.
Besides Veena, two other women legislators, R Bindu, wife of CPI(M) acting secretary A Vijayaraghavan who won from Irinjalakuda in Thrissur and CPI’s senior leader and Chadayamangalam MLA J Chinchu Rani, are also part of the new cabinet.
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