Kerala: Veena George likely to succeed KK Shailaja as health minister

After dropping former health minister KK Shailaja from the newly formed cabinet in Kerala, there are speculations that journalist-turned-politician Veena George is likely to succeed Shailaja for the health ministerial role. According to reports, a formal announcement will be made soon.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinararyi Vijayan yesterday released the list of the cabinet ministers where in all the sitting ministers from the previous tenure where dropped and new faces were taken. KK Shailaja did not object the move infact she backed the decision and said that it's a very good decision, however her removal from the candidate have sparked debate. Meanwhile, Shailaja has been elected as the party’s Whip.

Veena George, 44, is likely to be the youngest minister in the Vijayan Cabinet who would be sworn-in on Thursday, May 20. She won the April 6 Assembly elections from the Aranmula constituency of Pathanamthitta district.

The second Pinarayi Vijayan government, which comes to power bucking the four- decade-old trend of alternate front rule in Kerala, will have a 21-member-strong cabinet with a handful of first-time legislators and three women members, the highest in recent time. Barring the Chief Minister, K Krishnankutty of JD-S and A K Saseendran of NCP, the Water Resources and Transport Ministers respectively in the previous LDF government, are the only old faces in the new ministry.

Both CPI-M and CPI, the major partners in the ruling coalition, opted not to retain any of their ministers from the previous government. The JD-S and NCP, which have one nominee each in the cabinet, have decided to give another chance to their outgoingrepresentatives.

The Communist Party of India (M)-led LDF retained power in Kerala by winning 99 seats against 41 seats of Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the Assembly polls. BJP could not win any seat.

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