In the crucial State Committee meeting of the CPI-M held here on Tuesday she saw just seven seeking a second term for her, with the remaining almost 70 giving Vijayan the freedom to go for a new team.
Emerging from the party meeting Shailaja was quiet for a while but finally broke her silence and said there is no need for anyone to get emotional about this.
“It was the CPI-M which made me a Minister and all what I did during the five year period is not my merit. It was because of the excellent team work. Also it’s not me alone who has been left out. None of my party colleagues who were Ministers has been selected this time. I am sure the new person will be able to perform better than me,” said Shailaja before bidding good bye to the media here.
Shailaja’s name was certain after she won with the highest recorded margin of victory in the state from the Mattannur assembly seat in her home town Kannur with over 60,000 votes.
All through till Tuesday morning the news going around was that it would only be Shailaja who will get another term. She could be given a promotion and might be appointed the Speaker and would become the first woman in the state to occupy that chair. That also failed to materialise as the party chose M. B. Rajesh.
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.
Vijayan’s customary press meet to announce the day’s Covid figures did not take place on Tuesday evening, knowing that there will be a few uncomfortable questions.
The speculation now is that Shailaja in a few months will be appointed to be the first woman State Secretary of the CPI-M. For that to happen, one will have to wait when the red party sits down to decide on the next State Conference scheduled to be held early next year.