CPI-M leader K.K. Shailaja declines Magsaysay Award after party decision
Thiruvananthapuram: Former Kerala Health Minister and CPI-M MLA from Mattanur assembly constituency, K.K. Shailaja has said that she refused to give her consent to accept the Ramon Magsaysay Award going by the party’s decision.
She said that the Ramon Magsaysay Award foundation had sought her permission to announce the award in recognition of the work carried out by her as health minister in “defending” Nipah and Covid diseases.
She was speaking to reporters outside the CPI-M Kerala state headquarters on Sunday.
Shailaja said that she discussed it with the party as she is a Central Committee member of the CPI-M and a joint decision was taken that the award need not be accepted.
She said that fight against the deadly Nipah virus and Covid-19 was a joint effort and not an individual’s work.
Shailaja also said that the award was institutionalised in the name of Ramon Magsaysay who had used force against communist leaders in the Philippines.
In a related development, CPI-M general secretary, Sitaram Yechury told media persons in New Delhi that the decision not to accept the Magsaysay award was that of the party.
When asked whether the party had denied an opportunity to Shailaja, Yechury said, “She herself is party, she is the central committee member which is the highest decision-making body of the CPI-M”.
He also said that what was done in Kerala to prevent Nipah and Covid was a joint effort of the department of health and the government and an individual cannot be considered for the Magsaysay award.
Yechcury added that this was for the first time a political leader was considered for the award and generally activists are considered for it; this was another reason for rejecting the award.