Kerala's popular Health Minister K K Shailaja on Tuesday said the emotional reactions of her supporters to the CPM's decision not to include her in the next Pinarayi Vijayan-led cabinet were unwarranted.
"I became a minister as per my party's decision and I'm totally satisfied with whatever I could do. I'm confident that the new team of ministers can perform better than me," Shailaja, who earned accolades from many quarters for effectively leading Kerala's fight against Covid-19, said.
She was reacting to media persons' questions about the decision to drop her from the new Cabinet.
Shailaja, who has been elected from Mattannur constituency with a record winning margin, said her absence in the health department would not interrupt the state's Covid containment works.
"The containment measures are carried out by a system, not an individual. I fulfilled my leadership responsibilities as I was the health minister," she said.
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) on Tuesday announced the names of the ministers in the next cabinet. From the CPM, all except Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan are new faces.
The 21-member cabinet includes 12 from the CPM, four from the CPI, one each from the Kerala Congress (M), NCP and Janata Dal(S) and one each from two allies which will be shared between the four allies, each having one legislator.
It was Loktantrik Janata Dal, the only ally which did not get a cabinet post.
The decision to drop Shailaja from the Cabinet, even as the state is under the grip of the second wave of Covid, has stirred a controversy with many, including Left supporters, questioning the move.
As soon as the word spread that Shailaja has been dropped, numerous trolls came out criticising the decision.
Soon came the defence of Politburo member M A Baby who said the people voted in the state for the Left government.
"The decision was unanimous that there can be a new team and just look ministers like M M Mani and four others like Shailaja were not renominated. So it was a decision which was implemented. Just look, five seasoned veteran ministers were not given a seat. I am optimistic that just like the people in Kerala accepted dropping so many sitting legislators, they will accept this decision also," said Baby.
Meanwhile the national leadership of the party has conveyed its displeasure at the manner in which Shailaja was dropped, but given the present stature of Vijayan all this is likely to die down soon.