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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Meet the leader: K K Shailaja

Her leadership role in the fight against Nipah and Covid received international attention.
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 14:29 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 14:29 IST

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Political Party: Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Parliamentary Constituency: Vadakara, Kerala

Popularly known as 'Shailaja teacher', K K Shailaja shot to fame after she led the Kerala health department's fight against Nipah and Covid-19 outbreaks during her term as health minister in the previous CPM government led by Pinarayi Vijayan from 2016 to 2021.

The 67-year-old leader is a native of CPM's citadel Kannur in Kerala. In her fourth term as an MLA, she is currently representing the Mattannur assembly constituency in Kannur. Shailaja is also a member of the CPM central committee.

Her popularity was attested in the 2021 assembly election when she recorded the highest victory margin of over 60,000 votes. There were even suggestions from various quarters to consider her as chief minister. But the CPM didn't give her a place in the incumbent cabinet of Pinarayi Vijayan citing the party's policy of no second term for ministers except the chief minister. It had triggered criticisms that she was deliberately sidelined.

Her leadership role in the fight against Nipah and Covid received international attention. She also received honours of the United Nations and was also invited to speak on the UN Public Service day in 2020.

When the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation chose for conferring the prestigious honour in 2022, she declined it saying the fight against Covid and Nipah were teamwork of the government and not that of an individual.

Keep up with the Lok Sabha 2024 elections here

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Published 18 April 2024, 14:29 IST

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