With the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI) recording a thumping victory in Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan is set to retain his post as the Chief Minister. Interestingly, he is the only old face in the 21 member cabinet. The one which has raised many eyebrows amid the COVID pandemic is the removal of KK Shailaja.
Hailed for her handling of the Nipah and the first COVID outbreak, this former teacher had been one of the prime contributors to the Kerala government. At a time when the second wave is raging in the country, the government’s action has left many observers in a state of confusion. Shailaja has been the face of the Kerala government when it comes to medical emergencies and has proved it time and again. She was one of the reasons for the huge victory of the Left Democratic Front (LDF).
While she was spearheading the fight against outbreaks, Shailaja earned national as well as international recognition for efficiently managing both the outbreaks. Removing her in this crucial time can prove to be detrimental for the state and its people. The second wave has taught us that one mistake can turn the tables. While the decision to put new faces in the authorities is great, an exception in a challenging time such as this would also have been welcome.
CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury justified and supported the move for a new set of ministers by saying that it is a long term decision in the interest of the party and state. While stating that the central administration of the party has no say in the cabinet, he also said that every worker of CPI (M) deserves a chance to work for the benefit of the people. The cabinet was decided by the CM himself.
The state government has been criticised by some due to allegations of favouring family members for the post of a cabinet minister. Mohammed Riyaz is one of the new Cabinet Ministers. Also the Chief of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), he is the son-in-law of Pinarayi Vijayan. The wife of CPI (M) state secretary, R Bindu, is also given a cabinet ministry. She is one of the two women in the Kerala cabinet, the other is Veena George. While both are first time MLAs, this raises questions regarding the intentions of the CM and his cabinet.
Still under a strong grip of the Chinese Virus, India is getting better day by day; but the horrific time this wave showed us should be a lesson. The next possible wave might be even more dangerous and lethal, only this time, we have some experience. If the government and public realise the importance of following the COVID regulations, we can handle the next wave, even if it’s worse.
This sounds superb, but we are far from it. With the general public still gathering for religious and social events, we do not seem to understand this anytime soon. Even the political parties and leaders are openly flouting these rules, with some even trying to revive a dead protest. Ironically, they are the ones who are supposed to ensure that we follow the protocols. The most shameful thing they have done is appeasement, even in a pandemic. This shows us the sole intention behind all the drama i.e. power.
From hoarding of oxygen to ‘reserving’ beds and medicines for special acquaintances, the politicians have failed this country in every way possible. Instead of sticking together, all of them are only busy promoting their agenda. At the end of the day, it is the common man that dies due to a shortage of beds and oxygen. We can only hope that the next wave brings common sense with it apart from misery and death.
DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author.