Justifying KK Shailaja's omission from the new LDF cabinet, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Thursday the decision to bring in new faces in the government in Kerala was taken in the long term interest of the party and for the state.
Talking to reporters, Mr Yechury said the party's central leadership has nothing to do with cabinet formation in states.
Responding to a question on the exclusion of Ms Shailaja, the popular health minister in the outgoing LDF ministry, from the new cabinet, he said the question of who will contest the election and who of the elected MLAs become ministers are matters within the domain of the respective state committees in every state.
Mr Yechury, in Thiruvananthapuram to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new Pinarayi Vijayan-led government, said even during the election 26 sitting MLAs did not re-contest the Assembly polls and that included very senior important ministers.
When that decision was taken, the media had reported that it would have an adverse effect.
"But you saw the result.And I think that decision was in the long term interest of not only the CPI(M) and the LDF but also for the state of Kerala," he said.
His statement came a day after Mr Vijayan said Ms Shailaja's omission from the new cabinet, which has caused a flutter, was in line with the party's position on giving new faces a chance.
Ms Shailaja's non-inclusion has set off a debate with many including celebrities backing her and demanding that she be reinstated in the ministry.
She played a leading role in the state's fight against Covid-19, and was especially lauded for her handling of the pandemic in the first wave.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)